1 Tuesday, 27 June 2006
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.03 a.m.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Registrar, could you call the
7 case, please.
8 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I'd like
9 to welcome all and everyone. This is case number IT-04-74-T, the
10 Prosecution versus Prlic et al.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I would like to greet the
12 representatives of the Prosecution as well as all the attorneys, the
13 Defence counsel and the accused, and all staff members in the courtroom.
14 I would like to greet all the attorneys, Mr. Kovacic [as interpreted], who
15 is in the room, and I would like the person who is appearing on behalf of
16 Mr. Coric to introduce herself.
17 MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] My name is Dijana
18 Tomasegovic Tomic, attorney-at-law from Zagreb, and I appear for
19 Mr. Valentin Coric.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] On behalf of the Bench, we would
21 like to welcome you in this institution.
22 We shall proceed with the examination-in-chief, and I shall now
23 give the floor to Mr. Scott.
24 Mr. Scott, you have the floor.
25 WITNESS: STJEPAN KLJUIC [Resumed]
1 [Witness answered through interpreter]
2 Examination by Mr. Scott: [Continued]
3 Q. Thank you, Mr. President. Good morning, Mr. Kljuic.
4 A. [In English] Good morning.
5 Q. We will continue on through a number of documents, sir, and if I
6 could ask you to look, with the registry's assistance, if you could look
7 next at Exhibit P 00060.
8 Very well. If you can see that document, sir. Can you look at
9 that and confirm that that is the -- a record of the meeting of the -- of
10 a joint meeting of the Presidency of the HDZ BiH and the HDZ BiH Crisis
11 Staff on the 8th of October, 1991.
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Let me direct your particular attention to paragraph 4, under
14 "Conclusions." "Croatian Democratic Union of Bosnia and Herzegovina shall
15 continue to advocate an independent and indivisible Bosnia and Herzegovina
16 if that is possible," et cetera. I won't read the -- everyone can read
17 that, I believe.
18 Sir, did you understand that to continue -- to be the official
19 policy of the HDZ party in Bosnia as of October, 1991?
20 A. I was in the lead when these conclusions were drawn up, and it was
21 in fact the official policy of the HDZ of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
22 Q. The next paragraph immediately under that, still a continuation of
23 part 4, makes reference again to the Commission for Cantonisation. Can
24 you tell us anything more about what the Commission for Cantonisation was
25 doing during this period of time?
1 A. As I said yesterday, the proposal for cantonisation was legitimate
2 because it referred to a new administrative division of
3 Bosnia-Herzegovina. Whenever cantonisation was mentioned, reference was
4 not being made to toppling the State of Bosnia-Herzegovina within its
5 borders. The problem, as always with the Serbs -- was with the Serbs, as
6 always. They were the first to put forward the idea of a new
7 administrative division of Bosnia-Herzegovina, but the problem was that
8 their pretensions were enormous and unrealistic. They wanted to control
9 the cantonisation or, rather, they wanted to control a large part of the
10 territories, especially those in which the Serbs were not predominant, and
11 there the problems arose. For this reason, each one of the negotiators,
12 both the Croatian and the Muslim side, conditionally speaking, had their
13 own commissions working on preparing such an administrative solution which
14 would advance the internal structure of Bosnia-Herzegovina. These
15 commissions for cantonisation were composed of eminent men, very few
16 political officials, so one might say there were more experts in them, but
17 their work was never completed. At least as far as we were concerned.
18 However, the results of their work would be used later on at the Geneva
19 negotiations, and they were to become the basis of the Vance-Owen Plan.
20 Q. All right. You said in your answer just now on page 3, starting
21 at line 5, "The problem was --" and you're now referring to the Serbs -
22 you said: "... the problem was that their pretensions were enormous and
23 unrealistic. They wanted to control the cantonisation or, rather, they
24 wanted to control a large part of the territories, especially those in
25 which the Serbs were not predominant, and where the problems -- and there
1 the problems arose."
2 Can you describe a bit further for the Judge -- Judges what the
3 problem was when you say they claimed areas in which the Serbs were not
5 A. Quite simply, if you know that the Serbs were seeking control on
6 the left bank of the river Neretva where their presence is almost
7 symbolic. There were only 15 to 20 per cent Serbs in Stolac. The vast
8 majority of the population were Croats and Muslim Bosniaks. Also, on the
9 left bank of Mostar, not to mention Jablanica, Konjic, and other places.
10 So the Serbs, who amounted to 31 per cent of the population of
11 Bosnia-Herzegovina and who had a little more in territorial terms, because
12 their population was rural rather than urban so they controlled territory
13 which was not densely inhabited but was large in area, however, they were
14 not seeking those territories alone but also the towns, especially towns
15 in which the Serbs were in a minority. They were not sincere in the
16 negotiations about cantonisation. They put forward conditions to which we
17 could not agree simply in order to raise tensions and complicate the
19 During those negotiations there were expulsions, murders,
20 occupation of particular territories, and all this raised tensions. The
21 aim of all this was to exert pressure on the negotiations and the
22 reconstruction of Yugoslavia.
23 In the Yugoslav constitution, there was a provision to the effect
24 that the Yugoslav People's Army was, first of all, a people's army and,
25 secondly, a guarantee of the survival of the state. At the time we are
1 referring to, October, 1991, the army was no longer a people's army. It
2 was a pro-fascist army. And secondly, it was no longer an army of all the
3 nations and nationalities of Yugoslavia, as the phrase went. It was a
4 Serbian, Montegnegrin, and Chetnik army. After what it did in Slovenia
5 and especially in Croatia --
6 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... so we can move forward. If
7 you'd direct your attention to paragraph 5 of the same document, it says:
8 "The decision of the Presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina about the neutrality
9 of Bosnia and Herzegovina is endorsed but with the condition that Bosnia
10 and Herzegovina may not nor will it be a military training ground for
11 continued aggression."
12 Do we understand this document correct, sir -- correctly, sir,
13 that on the 8th of October, 1991, the official policy of HDZ of BiH was
14 that Bosnia-Herzegovina should be neutral in this conflict?
15 A. This is a very significant thing that the HDZ achieved at the
16 time. The only thing we could ask, and we did ask for this in the
17 Presidency, was that in the negotiations between Serbia and the JNA on the
18 one hand and the Republic of Croatia on the other, Bosnia and Herzegovina
19 should be at least neutral. This had a number of other consequences of
20 significance for us Croats. Neutrality would mean that our soldiers, the
21 soldiers of Bosnia-Herzegovina, should no longer go to the JNA, and we
22 were successful in this. But the Serbs continued to go as volunteers.
23 Also, what is especially important, we asked that neutrality imply
24 that from the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina one could not shell the
25 Republic of Croatia. This was a permanent practice because the JNA was
1 beyond the control of the civilian authorities in Bosnia-Herzegovina. As
2 you will see later on from the documents, two months later we held a
3 meeting with the leadership of the JNA in Sarajevo.
4 Q. And if you direct your attention to the last page of this
5 document, sir. Did you sign that document as president of the party?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Now, moving a few weeks forward, sir, to the 11th of November,
8 1991, was something called the Croatian Community of Bosnia Posavina
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And where was that territory located, the territory or
12 municipalities that were claimed to comprise the Posavina community?
13 A. In the northern part of Bosnia and Herzegovina. This is the most
14 fertile part of Bosnia-Herzegovina, where the Croats were in the majority,
15 and we were in power in Bosanski Brod, in Derventa, in Bosanski Samac,
16 participated in Brcko and Modrica, had absolute power in Odzak and Orasje,
17 and this is an area that was later to suffer a great deal because it was
18 on the contentious Belgrade-Banja Luka road. After the Travnik region and
19 the Herzegovina region unified and we created the Sarajevo region, which
20 never actually functioned, and then the Bihac region, which also never
21 came to life, it was quite normal for the Croats from the areas of those
22 municipalities to group together, to link up, to prepare themselves, and
23 after the establishment of those other regions it was quite normal for
24 there to be a Posavina region too. However, those who created the
25 Posavina region were not ultimately thinking of the role to be played by
1 that region when they all unified.
2 Q. I'd like the --
3 MR. SCOTT: Yes, Judge Prandler.
4 JUDGE PRANDLER: Let me interrupt you, sir. I would like to ask
5 the witness about the Posavina, just to refresh our memory concerning
6 geography. I believe Posavina takes its name after the River Sava and it
7 is south of -- the territory south of the Sava River, so I believe that it
8 is what we are talking when we have that, particularly as you also said
9 rather fertile territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Is it right, sir,
10 that it is south of Sava in that region where the Croats had -- thank you.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Precisely so, Your Honour.
12 Precisely as you said, yes.
13 JUDGE PRANDLER: Yes. Thank you very much.
14 THE WITNESS: You're welcome.
15 MR. SCOTT:
16 Q. Mr. Kljuic, with the -- using the Sanction system, I'd like to
17 show to the courtroom a map that was used during the opening statement,
18 has been provided to all in the courtroom previously. If you can see
20 A. [Interpretation] Yes.
21 Q. Can you please confirm that the area marked there in the upper,
22 one might say the north-east, corner of Bosnia and Herzegovina in blue,
23 that was the territory claimed to comprise the community of the Bosanska
25 A. Yes. That's the territory that comprised the party community of
1 Bosanska Posavina. There are several municipalities in this territory too
2 where the Croats are not in a majority. This did not represent any
3 territorial pretensions, it was simply the party organisation, the task of
4 which was to have the citizens associated together and prepared for the
5 events that would follow.
6 Q. Can I next ask you to look, please, at Exhibit P 00072. And let
7 me direct you to pages 7 to 8, I believe, of the Croatian version. And in
8 the English I believe the passages will be found at pages 7 and 8.
9 If you can look, direct your attention, sir, to passage which
10 starts with, "That we have contact with guy --" excuse me. Starting on
11 page 7 of your version, I believe English version: "President, in
12 reference to Bosnia, as I said at the previous meeting, we have also had a
13 problem with the conduct of our people. Kljuic called me to say that he
14 had heard that you have a contact with these guys from Herzegovina, that
15 he is against that and I told him on the phone that any kind of
16 actions --"
17 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. As we
18 have received a large number of transcripts from various meetings along
19 with this witness's testimony, I would like it first to be established
20 whether the witness was present at this meeting and only then could he be
21 asked what was said at the meeting and what he knows about it. Thank you.
22 MR. SCOTT:
23 Q. Sir, do you recall a telephone conversation with President Tudjman
24 of Croatia around the 14th of November, 1991?
25 A. Certainly.
1 Q. And tell us about that conversation.
2 A. After difficulties arose in communication, you have to bear in
3 mind what the situation was in Sarajevo, which was encircled. The JNA and
4 fascist Milosevic aggression against Croatia was culminating. Vukovar had
5 been shelled --
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Kovacic, you have the floor.
7 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] I apologise, Your Honour, for
8 interrupting, but we don't have that document on the monitors. We know
9 what it's about because we've seen it, but the accused also don't have it.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Registrar, could we have
11 the document, please.
12 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, if I -- if I understood the question,
13 which I believe was a proper one, Mr. Scott was asking the witness if he
14 recalled the conversation and now the witness was testifying from memory
15 as opposed to what is in the document, and I would prefer that the witness
16 not look at the document to refresh his memory because obviously he's
17 indicated that he -- he remembers that conversation. So, you know, we
18 would like to have his memory as opposed to something that's -- that's
19 being paraphrased by President Tudjman as to what purportedly was
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Before refreshing his
22 memory, perhaps the witness could talk to us about the telephone
23 conversation that took place on the 14th of November, 1991.
24 Witness, please answer this question which all and everybody has
25 in mind. You told us that there had been a telephone conversation with
1 Mr. Tudjman, and you were in Sarajevo at the time. Could you tell us what
2 the background of the telephone conversation was, and what did you tell
3 Mr. Tudjman, and what did he tell you? And then we will check this out
4 with the document.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I wanted to say to
6 counsel --
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You're not -- you are responding
8 to the Bench, not to the attorney.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Let me tell you, Your Honour, my
10 memory's relatively very good, so it's not about checking my memory, but
11 the fact is I spoke to President Tudjman on a daily basis. From the text
12 before me, I know what this is about. When I was starting to tell you
13 what the situation in Croatia was like and what the situation in
14 Bosnia-Herzegovina was like, a large number of officials of the HDZ of
15 Bosnia and Herzegovina were no longer seeking replies to their questions
16 in Sarajevo but in Zagreb. At that time, I said to President Tudjman,
17 "Don't receive them. Send them to me in Sarajevo. Let's maintain the
18 party discipline," because the worst thing was that 99 per cent of them
19 couldn't reach President Tudjman. They reached low-level officials in
20 Zagreb, who made their own suggestions to them, which were often contrary
21 to the overall policy of the HDZ, both in Zagreb and in Sarajevo. These
22 were difficulties, but of course as there were changes in the overall
23 policies, these people in Zagreb were happy to have these lads coming over
24 and saying, "We are very eager."
25 So as the president of the HDZ of Bosnia-Herzegovina, I was asking
1 that they not be received in Zagreb on an individual basis but that the
2 policy be agreed with me and that they be sent to Sarajevo. However, most
3 of them didn't want to go to Sarajevo. They wanted to go to Zagreb. They
4 had personal connections there, family connections, friends, and so on,
5 and this led to confusion on the ground.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You told him that, and what did
7 he answer to that?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Vaguely, because he liked them to go
9 there. They arrived there with huge enthusiasm, saying, "We have only one
10 president, President Tudjman, and no one else." And those people in
11 Zagreb didn't really understand Bosnia. Many of them didn't even love
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott, please proceed.
14 MR. SCOTT:
15 Q. Do you recall whether you and President Tudjman discussed the
16 formation of these regional communities?
17 A. We were to support the forming of the regional communities in the
18 way that I described yesterday; subordination, political directives, work
19 on the ground, linking up. At that time we were having problems with
20 children evading military service, we were having problems with the
21 educational system. Many children had not enrolled in school. Many were
22 unable to do so, to enroll in school and university. Then we had problems
23 with vaccines for children, treatment of patients with serious illnesses,
24 and a part of the Croats from Bosnia and Herzegovina were participating in
25 the defence of Croatia. And this refers not just to Croats but also to
1 Bosniak Muslims. They needed medical treatment too. We had a lot of
2 problems with the reuniting of families. If somebody who was wounded in
3 Croatia who came from Bosnia, the family had to go to Croatia. So that
4 these communities were justified.
5 Q. Had you indicated to President Tudjman that you disagreed with the
6 formation of these regional communities?
7 A. No. What I said was that the Presidency of the HDZ of
8 Bosnia-Herzegovina ultimately supported the communities but in the
9 function that I explained to you, because there were no intimations at
10 that time that they would have any ambitions towards any statehood and
11 creating states. So in this war danger, that was a very good move, to
12 link up and associate because -- for subordination.
13 Q. You said there were no intimations at that time that there -- that
14 they would have any ambitions towards statehood. Are you saying you did
15 not make any such intimations or that nobody, no one made such
17 A. Well, nobody did publicly, and I didn't do so publicly or
18 otherwise. It never entered my head. I couldn't have imagined anything
19 like that.
20 Q. Well, who did -- who did so not publicly?
21 A. Well, in seven days, or three or four days, the formation of
22 Herceg-Bosna was to follow, and when it was established, it wasn't
23 expressly political or nor did it have expressly statehood attributes.
24 Q. Sir, on line 19, you just said, "Well, nobody did publicly ..." A
25 fair implication of your answer, sir, is that there may have been some who
1 did so not publicly, and I'm asking you again, can you identify anyone who
2 did look at these groupings as a move toward para-states or statehood,
3 whether they expressed these views publicly or not?
4 A. I don't know, gentlemen, who thought what. Just like you, I was
5 to learn all about it in due course, with the developments as they came.
6 Q. So you're telling the Judges that as of the fall of 1991, in the
7 midst of everything that we've talked about since yesterday, you had no
8 idea that there were certain individuals within the party who had
9 different views about these matters than you did?
10 MR. KARNAVAS: Objection, Your Honour, to the form of the
11 question. That is not what the gentleman stated, and it mischaracterises
12 his testimony. I suggest Mr. Scott rephrase the question to reflect
13 exactly what the gentleman indicated, because the questions and answers
14 are rather different than the one now that he's suggesting.
15 MR. SCOTT: I don't agree, Your Honour. The witness just said on
16 line 6 and 7, "Just like you -" presumably referring to me - "I was to
17 learn all about it in due course," meaning apparently the implication as
18 of the 18th of October, he didn't -- or 8th of October, he didn't know.
19 MR. KARNAVAS: He can ask what he learned and then we might be
20 able to carry on a conversation from there. I think there are a lot of
21 suggestions, or there's too much reading into the answers by the
22 Prosecutor. If we go step-by-step; who, what, where, why, how, and
23 describe and explain, we'll get there.
24 MR. SCOTT:
25 Q. All right. Sir, I'll ask you this way: When did you first learn
1 that there were people within the HDZ party that had a different view on
2 the state nature of these regional bodies and the ambitions towards
3 statehood? When did you first learn there were people in the party who
4 had such views?
5 MR. KARNAVAS: Again, I object to the form of the question. He's
6 never indicated --
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, we're not going to waste
8 time. What we're interested in as Judges is to know what actually
9 happened. We're not in an American trial. This is a mixed type of trial,
10 and it is in the interests of the Judges to learn what happened on the
11 political level, what actually happened. We have one of the principal
12 actors here who was there at the time and who held responsible posts
13 within the HDZ of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and so this witness is best placed
14 to tell us what from his point of view he saw and how he saw that
15 evolution taking place.
16 So, sir, you attended this debate between -- going on between the
17 Prosecution and the Defence. We as Judges are not going to take part in
18 the debate. What we want to learn is the truth and the manifestation of
19 the truth, and it is the witness who is to enlighten us on that point.
20 So we have just learnt that we have the constitution, there was
21 the constitution of an entity, the establishment of a geographical entity
22 within the scope of creating a region, and that region was Posavina, the
23 Sava River valley. And now the question for us Judges is you, at the head
24 of the HDZ party, you experienced and lived through all that, so was there
25 a consensus amongst the party members as -- were you in the minority, or
1 did you represent the majority? So could you give us a series of
2 explanations to help us understand this. Go ahead.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The foundation of the Posavina
4 community was a natural course along the sense of which the Presidency of
5 the Croatian Democratic Union of Bosnia-Herzegovina insisted upon, that
6 people link up in resolving problems ranging from education through
7 medicine and further afield. However, nobody knew that those communities
8 would one day unite to form a new association. I especially did not know
9 this as president of the Croatian Democratic Union, for instance. I was
10 not even called to attend that establishment on the 18th of November.
11 However, in that particular formulation, as that was put, there
12 was nothing especially dangerous or threatening. What was dangerous was
13 that we did that after the Serbs, because the Serbs had already formed SAO
14 Krajina and were actually working in a destructive manner within
15 Bosnia-Herzegovina itself. So it was no longer a question of the war in
16 Croatia, which was being fought through and was becoming a bloody one, but
17 the problem was in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
18 When this Herceg-Bosna community was established, from that point
19 on I received assurances that that was quite normal and that it was a fact
20 -- in fact a continuation of the regional unification with the same
21 problems and subject matter. And as I lived in Sarajevo and represented
22 the HDZ, I had, the very next day, to answer questions put to me by
23 journalists at a press conference and say was that a parallel of what the
24 Serbs were doing and then what the Croats were doing and that the Bosniaks
25 should continue along the same course? As a politician I said, well, no,
1 that's not what it's like, people. It's just to help each other out and
2 to see that everything goes -- develops well. But they were to have
3 meetings without me very shortly after that. In fact, on the 24th, I
4 believe. It was the 24th of December. And the key meeting was to be held
5 on the 27th of December in Zagreb where, quite openly for the first time,
6 everybody presented their views. And I, to be quite frank, was left in
7 the minority there. And the finale came on the 2nd of February, 1992,
8 when we parted ways, of course with the very tragic consequences that this
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So in your position, and you've
11 just described it to us, what motivated the fact that you were
12 apprehensive? You had this apprehension. What caused it? Was it the
13 parallel that drew with the SAO Krajina, perhaps? So what allowed you to
14 have concerns on that score?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, it's quite simple. First of
16 all, they separated from the legal leadership in Sarajevo and contacted
17 people from the periphery in Zagreb, which had already shown themselves to
18 be extremists. Vice Vukojevic, for example, had more influence, wielded
19 more influence on the HDZ policy of Bosnia-Herzegovina in the field than
20 did the legal leadership.
21 The second point is this: In the psychological sense with those
22 citizens of Bosnia-Herzegovina who already at that time were the victims
23 of a situation of that kind, any attempts - and this was interpreted in
24 the Sarajevo press which was pro-Serb oriented - as an attempt on the part
25 of the Croats to take their own portion, whereas that wasn't true nor was
1 it realistic because you could have seen in the list of municipalities in
2 the communities there were only 5 per cent of Croats there. So they had
3 no chance of ruling over that area, taking control of that area. So that
4 then caused, among the Muslims as well, a feeling of jeopardy. What did
5 that mean? Were they supposed to make their own communities, to establish
6 their own communities? And that was the best road to destroying
8 On the other hand, as somebody who lived his whole life within a
9 specific code of conduct, I asked them if they were dissatisfied and if
10 they didn't wish to support -- lend their support to the policy that we
11 had already adopted at the convention in Mostar, then I said to them,
12 Gentlemen, go ahead, let's draw up a new convention, and you can voice a
13 new platform. And if you win a majority for that kind of policy, then put
14 it into practice and find a new president.
15 So what -- why I was irritated and felt aggrieved was that we
16 within the frameworks of a legally adopted political platform on the
17 ground, thanks to individuals who were the leaders in those communities,
18 that they started implementing quite the opposite policy of the one
19 proclaimed. Had it been along the lines of progress and defence, that
20 wouldn't have been tragic, but it was tragic because it went along the
21 lines of further toppling and destroying the principles of
22 Bosnia-Herzegovina's independence. And that came to the fore at the
23 meeting in Zagreb. It all came out there. And after that meeting, as
24 I've already said, I left, although I stayed on until the 2nd of February
25 when a Plenary session was convened by the people in Zagreb. At the time
1 I had two options, one not to go, and then they could out-vote and vote on
2 anything; and the second was to go there and to attend and to fight for
3 what I wanted to see go through. As you know, the Plenary Session was
4 interrupted and they were not able to put through their ideas.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] All right. Thank you. Thank
6 you for giving us those numerous explanations and details.
7 A question comes to me. After November, when you saw this
8 movement being created, these developments, why as you -- you as president
9 of the HDZ, did you not at that point in time call a meeting of the HDZ,
10 the top echelons of the HDZ, to take a stand rather than allowing these
11 developments to take place after the Zagreb meeting?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, because of the situation in
13 Bosnia-Herzegovina and because a convention could not be held at the time.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And the HDZ statute and
15 provisions didn't allow for the convocation of a convention? Do you have
16 to have a certain number of members who want to call a convention? You
17 said yes?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, everything was possible
19 according to the rules and provisions of the statute. The statute did
20 provide the possibility of me being able to collect a certain number of
21 signatures and convene a convention, but for practical reasons everything
22 was blocked, so people couldn't come to the meeting. So you -- as you
23 were able to see, this second meeting was held in Zagreb. We came from
24 all parts. I came by plane via Austria, then went by car from Austria to
25 Zagreb. Others went via Dalmatia and Rijeka to reach Zagreb, whereas we
1 in Bosnia-Herzegovina, because of the blockades, the SAO Krajinas, we were
2 not able to rally enough people and have them come to Bosnia-Herzegovina.
3 So legally speaking, I did have the possibility of doing that. There were
4 a sufficient number of delegates who would lend their support, but in
5 practical terms, because of the danger of war, we couldn't hold the
6 meeting in Bosnia-Herzegovina. It wasn't physically feasible. They
7 couldn't reach the area because everything was blocked.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott, please continue.
9 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. President. If I could have the witness
10 please be shown Exhibit P 00078, which is in the second bundle. We've now
11 finished the first bundle.
12 Q. Sir, as soon as you have that document can you tell us, please --
13 can you look at that document and is that a record of the establishment of
14 the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna on the 18th of November, 1991?
15 A. That's how it would appear, yes.
16 Q. Article I says: "The Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna shall be
17 established as a political, cultural, economic and territorial whole."
18 And in Article II it lists the municipalities which will comprise the
19 Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna. Do you see that?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And turning to the end of the document, do you see that it was
22 Mate Boban who either signed or whose name -- the document is over his
23 name? Over his name?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. The title given to Mr. Boban in this document is president of the
1 Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna. We know from yesterday that he had
2 been the -- by this time the first vice-president of the party. When did
3 he become the president of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna?
4 A. Well, I assume when they were constituted. I wasn't there. I
5 wasn't invited to attend, and even if I were, I wouldn't have gone.
6 Q. Why weren't you invited?
7 A. Well, you would have to ask them that, not me.
8 Q. You said if you had been invited, you wouldn't have gone. Why
10 A. I wouldn't have gone because with respect to the legal HDZ of
11 Bosnia-Herzegovina, a political party that represented 95 per cent of the
12 Croats in Bosnia-Herzegovina, this was a parallel organ.
13 Q. But surely you must have seen this as a very important development
14 among the Croat people in Bosnia-Herzegovina at that time, didn't you?
15 A. Well, you could put it that way, but you needn't. It doesn't have
16 to be put that way. If you look at the way the community was constituted
17 and the number of municipalities mentioned - Bugojno, Jablanica, Konjic -
18 that was very unrealistic, impossible propositions. But you know when
19 people say, We're all going, let's all go, then you'll see in the minutes
20 that individuals from those provinces say, Ah, young men are brimming over
21 with enthusiasm and things like that, but that was the wrong move.
22 Although it was a very skilful move because it says political, cultural,
23 economic, and so on and so forth. There is no mention of administrative
24 separatist state or anything like that. None of those attributes. So I
25 had to defend that for political reasons that, in formal terms, yes, they
1 had joined -- they had united, but nobody would know that the developments
2 would have been such that this was actually to take root.
3 Q. Sir, you said just a moment ago, you said if we -- if you look at
4 the way the community was constituted and the number of municipalities -
5 you mentioned several, including Jablanica and Konjic - why was that
6 unrealistic and impossible?
7 A. Well, it's like this: Those communities were established to begin
8 with as HDZ communities. That means as party communities, which were
9 supposed to rally people, Croats first and foremost, to see to their
10 needs, to look after them, and so on. After these communities united, the
11 Croatian democratic communities into regional ones, this is -- became a
12 new form of unification of association, and it was one level higher, a
13 higher level of association. But the formula that it was cultural,
14 economic, and so on, that kind of community, that still was not against
15 the law, and it wasn't -- didn't present a danger to Bosnia-Herzegovina.
16 Q. You didn't answer my question. Why was it unrealistic and
17 impossible to include Jablanica and Konjic in the Croatian Community of
19 A. Well, because the absolute majority population was the Muslim
20 population. That did not belong either culturally, politically, or in
21 terms of where they lived to those communities. It's just like if you
22 co-opted Sardinia, for example.
23 Q. If you look at Article 8, you say there was nothing about any
24 administrative ambitions or executive government ambitions. Article 8
25 says: "The Presidency of the community shall appoint the executive and
1 administrative bodies of authority in the Croatian Community of
2 Herceg-Bosna," does it not?
3 A. I can't see Article 8. Would you scroll down, please.
4 Q. Yes. Could we have the assistance of the registry, please.
5 A. Well, this is an attempt to turn this kind of community into
6 executive power ultimately, into an executive authority, and that is what
7 made it unacceptable as far as I was concerned, because at that time we
8 had power and authority in Bosnia-Herzegovina, legitimately elected
9 authorities. Now, the fact that it wasn't functioning in certain parts,
10 that was because the situation was as it was. The presence of the
11 Yugoslav People's Army, for example, drawing parallels with the Serb side.
12 But the State of Bosnia-Herzegovina still existed, and its regular
13 executive powers.
14 Q. If you'll go next, please, to Exhibit P 00082.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a moment, please. Before
16 we do that, let's stay with this document.
17 Witness, I can see the preamble of this decision, which was taken
18 on the 18th of November, as it says, 1991, and in the preamble it states
19 that that decision was adopted by the representatives -- elected
20 representatives of the Croatian people. How many of them were there,
21 these individuals who met to take this decision, to the best of your
22 knowledge? Because there must have been HDZ members, must there not,
23 attending that meeting?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know the exact number, but
25 most probably they were local presidents of municipalities, deputies in
1 parliament from that area, local deputies or MPs, and certain officers who
2 probably held some posts in the state administration on behalf of the HDZ
3 but who went down there. I don't know. I never actually saw a list of
4 those who were present, the names of the people who attended. But the
5 fact is that they were HDZ members, and most of them had been elected, at
6 least at a lower level, at the elections held in 1990.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And you told us that you didn't
8 -- you weren't invited to attend that meeting; is that right?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] When did you learn of what had
11 happened at the meeting and of the decisions that had been taken? Did you
12 know about it the same day, the next day, several days later? When?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, first of all, I never learnt
14 everything that had taken place, but that same night there was a
15 television broadcast. The television announced that the community had
16 been formed and the president was Mate Boban, MA, and the following day
17 journalists came to see me and asked me how that had happened, how they
18 were able to do that when I was not there. I tried to make less of it,
19 but quite obviously they had great pretensions.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Counsel Alaburic.
21 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. I would just like to
22 draw your attention to the fact that this decision and the text was
23 amended on the 3rd of January, 1992. So it is not the integral test --
24 text of what was stated on the 18th of November, and if the witness needs
25 to explain what helped -- what happened in 1991, I'd like you to bear that
1 in mind.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you.
3 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, on that point there is an earlier version
4 of the document which was intended to be included in the bundle.
5 Unfortunately, the wrong document was included, but we'll provide that to
6 you as soon as we can.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We have a question from one of
8 my colleagues, the Judge.
9 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Witness, staying with the document
10 that we've just been discussing on the establishment of the Croatian
11 Community of Herceg-Bosna, if we read Article 5 of the document - I have
12 the English text - the community shall respect the legitimately elected
13 bodies of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Now, Article 7, it says the Presidency
14 shall be the organ, the legislative organ, of the community, the Croatian
15 Community of Herceg-Bosna.
16 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters apologise but they don't have
17 the exact text in English.
18 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Would you explain to us, please,
19 whether Article 7 in your opinion gave legislative powers to the
20 Presidency which was to a certain extent in contradiction with powers
21 democratically elected of Bosnia-Herzegovina? Or in the opposite case,
22 whether these two provisions are completely legal, complementary, and
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The decisions following on from
25 these two articles were not legal and could not have been registered at
1 the court of Bosnia-Herzegovina. They came in through the back door, so
2 to speak, introducing some para-organisation which had pretensions of
3 having absolute executive powers.
4 What does this mean, that the Presidency of the Croatian Community
5 of Herceg-Bosna are made up of the Croatian people in the municipal
6 authorities and from among the Croatian Defence Council? That's very
7 broad, with no legal provisions and instruments. On the other hand, the
8 very fact that Herceg-Bosna wanted to nominate executive powers and
9 authorities is contrary to the constitutional set-up of the state as it
10 was at the time.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. We have just
12 observed that the document we have on our screens or, rather, on Exhibit
13 78, Exhibit 78 is a document which, according to the preamble, was brought
14 up-to-date on the 3rd of July, 1993. So this document, as Counsel
15 Alaburic noted, was not the original document of the 18th of November,
16 1991, because in the preamble it is stated that this decision was amended
17 on the 3rd of July, 1992. So this is the final draft that we're looking
18 at, that we have before us. But this draft is dated 1992, not 1991.
19 Mr. Scott, please continue.
20 MR. SCOTT: If the registry could please display Exhibit 79,
21 P 00079, which will not be in the bundle. It will not be in the hard copy
22 because, by error, it was not included.
23 I see the Croatian language version on my screen, but I assume
24 that people who need to see it in English can. We can put an English
25 version on the ELMO if we have to.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We -- it's going to come up in
2 English, because for the time being we have the Croatian version on our
4 MR. SCOTT: I think it's coming up now, if I understand correctly.
5 Q. Sir, if you look at the Croatian language version that was just
6 put on your screen, now do you see that document?
7 A. Yes, I see it. Thank you. Yes, I have it in Croatian.
8 MR. SCOTT: And if we can go back to the English version. Please
9 display for the Judges in particular, in case there's any questions about
10 the similarity of language between the two versions. I'd like the Judges
11 -- can you scroll down and show, for example, Article 1. Article 2. In
12 reference to the Judge's question, can you show Article 5?
13 Can the registry please also display Exhibit P 00077.
14 MR. KARNAVAS: Can we just see the whole document, please?
15 MR. SCOTT: Of course. Of course. And if there's another -- keep
16 continuing to the end of the document, please, if counsel can see that.
17 We'll stop at any point.
18 MR. KARNAVAS: Article 7 seems to be rather different than the one
19 that's displayed.
20 MR. SCOTT: Okay. Let's go back to that.
21 MR. KARNAVAS: The 1992 version.
22 MR. SCOTT: Let's go back to Article 7, please. Can you enlarge
23 that? Yes. Correct.
24 Can you also then go to Exhibit P 00077.
25 MR. KARNAVAS: Before we go along, would the gentleman concede
1 that Article 7 is different? And perhaps can he comment on it if he has
2 any comments, I don't know. Because this would have been the version,
3 apparently, that he would have seen at the time.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. So we can see that, as far
5 as Article 7 is concerned, it's not the same in both documents. Do you
6 have any comments to make, Witness?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I never read another version of
8 Article 7, nor was it available to me. I lived in occupied Sarajevo.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So you say that the
10 Article 7 which we have on our screen is something you did not know about
11 in Sarajevo. Now, today, in 2006, what is your assessment of this Article
12 you see today, Article 7 and Article 7 which you read in 1992?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Could I have the translation,
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We have a language problem here.
16 So what you have on your screen now in your own language is the text, the
17 original text which goes back to 1991.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] On two screens I have the identical
20 MR. KARNAVAS: Perhaps it might be easier if we gave the gentleman
21 a hard copy at least of the latter version, the 1992 version. That might
22 assist him.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Yes, indeed.
24 MR. KARNAVAS: While this is happening, Your Honour, if I could
25 have a point of clarification. Is the gentleman asserting today, as I
1 understood him to say, that he did not see any of these documents because
2 he was in occupied Sarajevo? Is that his testimony?
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. The question that has been
4 put to you, which I shall put to you now, this text which you have before
5 you is a text which you knew nothing about when you were in Sarajevo?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. This document which
8 we have before us is a document which you discovered at what point in
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] To tell you the truth, I never read
11 it nor was I interested in it.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] It means that you are seeing it
13 for the first time in its original version; is that right?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I haven't seen it yet, Your Honours.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] But you've got it here before
16 you right now.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. What I have before me is two
18 identical texts from the first version of the 18th of November, 1991.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I think the best would be to
20 place on the ELMO the 1991 document. Is that something you can do,
21 Registrar? Registrar, let's put the 1991 document on the ELMO, namely
22 Exhibit 79. You don't have it?
23 The Prosecution, do you have a hard copy of this document?
24 So we shall keep document 79 on the screen and put number 78 on
25 the ELMO so that the witness can compare the two. Could the usher put
1 number 78 on the ELMO, please.
2 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I shall hand over my copy. Here you are.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] It's a B/C/S version.
4 Let's turn to Article 7. You need to turn the page. Here we are.
5 So you have both texts in front of you now.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What kind of comment would you
8 like to make regarding these two texts?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm no legal expert, so I cannot
10 tell you what the legal difference is, but as a citizen who was involved
11 in these matters, at first glance I can tell you that beside the president
12 and two vice-presidents, there is now also a president and a Presidency
13 composed of officials and representatives of the Croatian people at
14 municipal level, and so on. And also that the Presidency's a legislative
15 body. So it's supposed to replace a parliament, speaking as a layperson.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So you are telling
17 us that in the document you have before you, Article 7, this is a document
18 dated 1992, you explained that there is a judiciary that has been
19 established. That is a remark you have just made.
20 Mr. Scott, you have the floor.
21 THE WITNESS: Just moment. Just moment, please. [Interpretation]
22 I said that as a layperson, not as an expert. So please don't draw any
23 conclusions from what I said.
24 MR. KARNAVAS: Before -- before we give the floor back to
25 Mr. Scott, Your Honour, perhaps we could have a point of clarification.
1 The gentleman expressed certain views prior -- once he saw the 1992
2 version. It was -- it was then pointed out to him that there was a 1991
3 version, at which point we learned that he never saw the versions, either
4 the 1991 or 1992 at the time, never read them.
5 The point of clarification would be when he was giving that
6 explanation, on what basis was he giving the explanation if he didn't see
7 the documents and this is the first time, and especially now that he
8 admits he's not a jurist and doesn't know how to read such documents?
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. He made a negative
10 sign with his hand. Could you add something to what -- to what has just
11 been said, please?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The document from 1991 was published
13 in the newspapers, and I saw that document. I never saw the document from
14 1992. Secondly, I don't know what this has to do with the trial. This
15 gentleman says I'm not a lawyer. Well, that's what I said. But to
16 understand the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, you only have to be a
17 normal person, you don't always need to be an expert.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So in light of all
19 you've said so far, you are adding something new. You say that the 1991
20 document was published in the press, in the media; is that right? That's
21 what you've just said. And that the 1992 document is something you are
22 seeing for the first time today.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Mr. Scott, we have
25 quarter of an hour left.
1 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. President.
2 If we can go to Exhibit P 00082. I'm sorry. My apology. If we
3 can pull up -- if the registry can please -- my apology. If the registry
4 can please pull up Exhibit P 00079. It's not in the bundle, but in light
5 of questions that have been asked.
6 Mr. President, as I said -- as I said about two minutes ago, it
7 was indeed -- indeed the case that another version of the 1991 document
8 was to have been the appropriate exhibit, and I apologise for the
9 confusion that's been caused, but I will present that document in hard
10 copy after the break.
11 Q. Sir, you said you saw the 1991 document in the newspaper the next
12 day -- I don't believe this is Exhibit 77. Can you go to the last page?
13 Is this Exhibit 77? Sorry.
14 Sir, if you can look at this document, and if you just look at
15 that long enough to identify it, and if --
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] There must be a mistake in the
17 transcript. It's Exhibit number 79 and not 77.
18 MR. SCOTT: Yes, Your Honour. I apologise. This -- what we're
19 looking at on the screen now should be Exhibit 77, which is what I see on
20 the screen, is in fact what I recognise to be Exhibit 77, but you're right
21 if I misspoke. What I'd like to the registry to display at the moment is
22 77. If you could display that, please. The English version as well.
23 Q. If you'll look at that, sir, yourself in the Croatian language
24 version while we're also showing the courtroom the English version.
25 Sir, if you've had a chance to read those two paragraphs, can you
1 tell the Judges whether those -- whether those two additional paragraphs
2 were also printed in the newspaper the day after the Assembly on the 18th
3 of November, or in some days after that?
4 A. Probably. A lot of time has elapsed, but the content certainly
5 fits within that context and most probably corresponds to what was
6 published. So this is probably true.
7 Q. Could we go on to Exhibit P 00085, then -- or 82. 82. Which
8 should be back in the bundle, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes.
10 MR. SCOTT:
11 Q. Sir, as soon as you have that on your screen can you confirm that
12 these -- that this is the record of a meeting of the Presidency of the HDZ
13 BiH on the 28th of November, 1991, 10 days after the founding of the
14 Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna.
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And this meeting you did attend?
17 A. And chaired.
18 Q. And so that everyone can see that, under "Agenda" after the five
19 items of the agenda, does the document say, sir, "The session was opened
20 and chaired by the president, Stjepan Kljuic"? Do you see that, sir?
21 A. No, I don't.
22 Q. Under the five items of the agenda -- there's an agenda listing
23 five items. Immediately below item number 5, do you see the language that
24 says: "The session was opened and chaired by the president, Stjepan
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. If I can direct your attention to the last page of the document in
3 the Croatian-language version. Does it bear your signature?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Now, sir, if you will direct your attention to item -- paragraph
6 c. There's item 1, and then there's a number of lettered paragraphs. If
7 I can direct your attention to item 1.c, does the document say the
8 following: "The Presidency of the BH HDZ unanimously adopts the decision
9 on the establishment of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna of 18
10 November, 1991"?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. I believe you testified a moment ago that you didn't really care
13 what this document was about, but did you give it your endorsement on the
14 28th of November, 1991, when you chaired this meeting? It says it was
15 unanimously approved.
16 A. You should know the context in which this was done. They had
17 already established this Herceg-Bosna and now they had arrived and they
18 already had the majority among the members of the Presidency who were
19 there, so what was I supposed to do? To say let's have a vote and they
20 would out-vote me, and then they would be legitimate. In the form in
21 which they put it, culturally, economic, and so on, this was no threat to
22 the State of Bosnia-Herzegovina. By endorsing it I had to cover some
23 weaknesses within the party as the president of the party. But except
24 superficially, it had nothing in common with the Serbian SAO Krajinas. It
25 didn't have any negative connotations. It didn't have any administrative
1 political ambitions at that point in time. And of course I was making
2 compromises. I accepted this because, as you can see, the Presidency of
3 the HDZ of Bosnia-Herzegovina was still the highest party body in the
5 Q. By the end of November, 1991, sir, had you lost control of the
7 A. As for the state institutions and official policy and negotiations
8 with the international community, the answer is no. But as regards
9 decisions made on the ground, especially in particular municipalities in
10 the Travnik and Herzegovina region, yes, I did.
11 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, while Mr. Scott is looking, perhaps he
12 could also look at item b, where it says there has been no split. Was
13 that a political compromise? Was that a fabrication or somewhat of a kind
14 way of putting it? What exactly does that mean? Because if you read b,
15 then you go to c, perhaps you might understand why it was unanimous.
16 MR. SCOTT: I was going to go back to that exact point,
17 Mr. Karnavas. I think there will be cross-examination, I understand.
18 Q. But let me just ask you, sir: You said you had to make
19 compromises, but indeed b says, "There has been no split nor have there
20 been any personal conflicts in the party leadership." But if I understand
21 your testimony at line 17 of page 34, you agreed, sir, that by this time
22 you had lost control of the party apparatus in at least the Travnik and
23 regional -- and Herzegovina regions; correct?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. So despite what it says here, in fact there had been a split.
1 There was a split.
2 A. Of course there was. But should this have been made public?
3 Should the confusion of the Croatian people in Bosnia-Herzegovina have
4 been increased? Should our nervousness been conveyed to the ordinary
5 citizens, the grassroots people, those in mixed marriages, those who
6 wanted there to be peace? We had to put up a front of unity, and I wanted
7 that. But over the next few months events would take a different course.
8 JUDGE TRECHSEL: So if I may take the break to have a confirming
10 MR. SCOTT: Yes, of course.
11 JUDGE TRECHSEL: In fact, you yourself also were acting
12 unrealistically in the way in that you had hopes that the party could
13 remain together and the state, Bosnia and Herzegovina could be get -- got
14 together where in fact this cohesion was crumbling under your feet, as it
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have to tell you one thing. My
17 political platform, my legality was to fight for an integral
18 Bosnia-Herzegovina and the equality of the Croatian people. There had
19 been no official change in the party policy, but on the ground there had
20 been behaviour which was contrary to this. Everything that the Serbs had
21 temporarily occupied didn't mean that there would be no
22 Bosnia-Herzegovina. One had to be serious when making political analyses.
23 Kuwait was occupied but it didn't disappear. The government went into
24 exile and later on it was liberated. There was no reason at the time to
25 believe that Bosnia and Herzegovina would fail and disappear, and it
1 turned out that I was right when I trusted the survival of
3 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'd like to understand your
5 position correctly. You weren't opposed to this decision as it has been
6 mentioned that it was taken unanimously, even though you did tell us that
7 in some municipalities there could be no political or cultural entity
8 given the ethnic composition. Jablanica, Prozor, and Konjic are the ones
9 you mentioned. Despite that -- this fact, you accept this decision. You
10 accept it because you felt this would pose no threat, or is it that you
11 realised at this stage that this might cause problems in the future?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I never said that Prozor was a
13 minority Croatian municipality. Prozor had the majority Croatian
14 population. But until the point when the Croatian Community of
15 Herceg-Bosna announced the takeover of executive power, it was neither
16 dangerous nor illegal. The moment that those people expressed ambitions
17 to take over executive power wherever they could in parallel with the
18 legal power, that's where there was a problem that would lead to disaster.
19 On the other hand, when these communities were formed, which included
20 Croats from some municipalities where we were not well represented or in
21 the majority, all this was normal. But when communities were formed with
22 ambitions to take over executive power, even in those municipalities where
23 we were in the minority or approximately with the same level of
24 representation as the Muslims, such as in Travnik and Bugojno, there
25 problems would arise.
1 I could have caused a scandal and said this is illegal, unlawful,
2 counter-constitutional, it's against the party platform, but in view of my
3 elections results within the party, I believed that the people from areas
4 where the Croats had co-existed with other peoples would act in such a way
5 that the situation would calm down, especially as in parallel with these
6 events the war in Croatia ended, in the Republic of Croatia. You have to
7 know that on the 2nd of January, 1992, in Sarajevo, peace was signed
8 between the JNA, the rebel Serbs, and the legitimate authorities of the
9 Republic of Croatia. There was a tendency for a general calming down of
10 the situation, and it did not suit us to create division in Bosnia.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you. It is
12 now 10.30. We shall have to have our technical break, and we shall resume
13 in 20 minutes.
14 --- Recess taken at 10.30 a.m.
15 --- On resuming at 10.51 a.m.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We're going to go on
17 working until 12.30 in this second sitting.
18 MR. SCOTT:
19 Q. Mr. Kljuic, just one point of clarification before moving on to
20 the next exhibit. You said several times before the break that as you
21 understand this organisation, the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna, you
22 didn't see -- and we've all heard that you're not a lawyer, but you didn't
23 see anything illegal about it. Were you aware or did you become aware at
24 some point that the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina had
25 declared Herceg-Bosna illegal?
1 A. Well, that was completely something that was expected when they
2 had ambitions of taking over executive power.
3 MR. SCOTT: Can I next ask for the witness to be shown Exhibit
4 P 00089.
5 JUDGE TRECHSEL: May I -- may I still ask a question for the
6 previous matter.
7 MR. SCOTT: Of course.
8 JUDGE TRECHSEL: What we all notice is -- is unsatisfactory and
9 difficult to understand with Herceg-Bosna is that there are, I think, four
10 municipalities included, which all have a different -- or had a different
11 majority than Croat. Absolute majorities of Serbs in Kupres and absolute
12 majority of Muslims in Gornji Vakuf, Konjic, and Jablanica. Was that an
13 issue? Were there discussions about this or was this simply for
14 geographical reasons, probably because one wanted to have a link to the
15 south, accepted without much discussion?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The session where we accepted
17 Herceg-Bosna, there were no detailed analyses that had been made, because
18 the principle of associating with party members and people in the area to
19 look after their interests. No other principles were declared at that
20 point in time in geographical terms. I can't agree that the Croats were
21 in the minority in Kupres and Gornji Vakuf. There was an equal number of
22 Croats and Serbs in Kupres, whereas in Gornji Vakuf an equal number of
23 Croats and Muslims. But in Bugojno and Travnik, for example, there was
24 just a slight majority of Muslims compared to the Croats, whereas in
25 Jablanica and Konjic the absolute majority.
1 JUDGE TRECHSEL: [Interpretation] Thank you.
2 THE WITNESS: You're welcome.
3 MR. SCOTT:
4 Q. Well, following up on Judge Trechsel's question, sir, and on this
5 point, did you ever advise other people in the Croatian leadership, either
6 in Bosnia-Herzegovina or in Zagreb, that given what you've just said, you
7 expected the Muslims to oppose Herceg-Bosna?
8 A. [Interpretation] Well, you must know that before that the
9 Constitutional Court of Bosnia-Herzegovina had proclaimed unconstitutional
10 the Serbian Krajinas that they had made, and then Herceg-Bosna too. And
11 in all the talks that I had at the time with President Tudjman and other
12 officials from Zagreb, I tried to show them that they shouldn't irritate
13 the Bosniak Muslims who at that point in time were our only political
15 Q. Sir, if I can now ask you to look at Exhibit P 00089.
16 MR. SCOTT: In this particular instance, Mr. President, because
17 this is a lengthy transcript, I think for the witness it will much easier
18 for him to work with a hard copy than trying to go from page to page in
19 the electronic version, if I could suggest that.
20 If we can just have a minute, Your Honour. Sorry, Your Honour, it
21 would be easier if we just isolate the B/C/S document.
22 Q. Sir, as you look at that document, is it correct that on the 27th
23 of December, 1991, you and a number of other senior representatives or
24 officials of both the HDZ BH, the -- of Herceg-Bosna and of the Croatian
25 government, this group of people met with President Tudjman on the 27th of
1 December, 1991?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Can you tell us where this meeting took place?
4 A. At President Tudjman's residence on Pantovcak.
5 Q. Can you tell the Judges what you understood the purpose of this
6 meeting was, why had this group of people been called together at that
7 particular moment in time?
8 A. As you already know, we weren't able to draw up an HDZ convention
9 or -- of HDZ of Bosnia-Herzegovina, or a meeting, a convention in any
10 Bosnia-Herzegovinian town because of the circumstances that prevailed. We
11 weren't able to hold a convention. On the other hand, the regional
12 communities, through their conduct and actions, did not find favour with
13 part of the citizens of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and it was quite clear at that
14 point in time that we had two parallel formations on the Croatian
15 political arena: One was the legal one, the HDZ of Bosnia-Herzegovina,
16 whose president I was, and the people who were elected to parliament and
17 then the executive organs of power and authority. The other side was the
18 one led by Mate Boban. Whereas we from the leadership of the Croatian
19 Democratic Union did not exclude the activities of Herceg-Bosna, the
20 leadership of Herceg-Bosna for its part absolutely and in practical terms
21 denied the existence of the legal leadership of the Croatian Democratic
23 Q. Looking, sir, at the first page --
24 A. [In English] Just a moment, please. [Interpretation] In Zagreb,
25 among the influential people, there was no uniform way of thinking either,
1 so that this meeting was convened in an extraordinary situation in order
2 to reformulate or support the present policy, the policy up until that
4 Q. Do you know who among the senior Croatian officials, State of
5 Croatia officials, other than President Tudjman, were present at this
7 A. Of course.
8 Q. Please say so.
9 A. There was the minister -- Minister Susak. He was already defence
10 minister at the time. Then the vice-premier, Mr. Milan Ramljak. HDZ
11 Presidency member of Croatia, academician Miroslav Brozovic. Then there
12 was Josip Manolic, the former Prime Minister, and there were several other
13 lower-ranking officials from Zagreb.
14 Q. Now, if I can direct your attention to the first page and the
15 first portion attributed to President Tudjman. You see, sir, that he
16 opens the meeting: "Gentlemen, this meeting is open. I welcome our
17 guest, an HDZ delegation from Bosnia-Herzegovina, with whom we are going
18 to talk about an issue currently of the greatest importance for Croatia."
19 And continuing on down through that section and right before you
20 get to a section referring to -- you'll see the names Milosevic and
21 Gligorov. Before that, President Tudjman continues to say, "What our
22 position will be with regard to the Croatian part of Bosnia and
23 Herzegovina." And is what is stated here, sir, your understanding of what
24 the topics, what the agenda of the meeting was?
25 A. Well, at that point in time it was quite certain that the Republic
1 of Croatia, together with the Republic of Slovenia, had gained
2 international recognition, and that official ceremony or act was to take
3 place 19 days later. However, the status of Bosnia-Herzegovina hadn't
4 been resolved yet. And quite obviously there were a number of variants
5 and options and expectations, and more clearly than ever before there
6 would be division between the leadership of the HDZ of Bosnia-Herzegovina
7 and those who were in favour of an independent integral
8 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and the other side who saw their chance in Bosnia's
9 division, Bosnia-Herzegovina's division.
10 Q. At the end of the section I just referred you to a moment ago,
11 President Tudjman says, "Mr. Kljuic, you have the floor." And then
12 "Stjepan Kljuic," and then you begin to talk, which goes on for, as we
13 will see, for some pages of transcript.
14 If I can ask you to go to page 3 of the document, of your
15 transcript, there's a paragraph where you say: "For us and for the HDZ
16 there were no dilemmas in this respect because this was our party's
17 platform as well and we stated our position clearly a year ago that we
18 were for a sovereign Bosnia-Herzegovina as long as there was a shred of a
19 chance that it may come to pass."
20 Do you see that?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. All right. When you talk here about the party's platform, are you
23 talking about the original platform on which the party was elected in
24 1990? Is that the platform you're referring to?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. If you'll go to page 7 of the transcript. There's a portion where
2 -- paragraph where you're talking about party discipline, and in that
3 paragraph you go on to say, if you can find this: "I think this is a
4 difficult time and whatever we agree upon tonight, whatever positions we
5 take here will have to be implemented. Whoever is not prepared to adhere
6 to this, myself included, fine, let them step down. Let them make sure
7 they follow the Croatian course, which is the most important one
9 Does this statement indicate what we've been talking about this
10 morning --
11 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, I'm going to object. It's leading in
12 nature and it's very unhelpful to the Trial Chamber. He can ask the
13 gentleman what did he mean. He uttered those words. He ought to know.
14 MR. SCOTT: I think Mr. Karnavas is premature.
15 Q. What did you mean, sir, when you said this had been a difficult
17 A. Well, they were difficult times. That's the first point.
18 Secondly, I wanted us to have a joint line or course. I had my own
19 platform, of course, which until then was the official one, and I said if
20 we agree, then we must all obey what we have agreed. And I knew that if
21 we were to agree to what they had said, I would be disobedient and I would
22 have to go. So I tried to gain support from President Tudjman for
23 everything we have done thus far jointly and for the programme orientation
24 that was official one of the HDZ of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
25 Q. If you'll go to page 8 of the transcript, you will see a paragraph
1 that says: "Therefore ..." At the end of the paragraph, it says, "But in
2 any case we should prepare alternative solutions like when we met here on
3 St. Ante's --" I'm sorry, I don't know if the translation is correct --
4 "Day and prepared three alternative solutions."
5 Can you tell the Judges about this earlier meeting referenced here
6 on that day and what three alternative solutions were discussed.
7 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, I don't mean to be -- to obstruct the
8 -- but perhaps the gentleman could just give us a narration of what he
9 recalls what he said, and so on and so forth, to put this matter into
10 context. The reason I say this is now we're going and taking snippets out
11 of this transcript, and we either go through his entire presentation,
12 otherwise we're just getting bits and pieces and it's very difficult to
13 create a record this way.
14 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, if Mr. Karnavas would like us to read
15 the entire transcript into the record, I'm happy to do that.
16 MR. KARNAVAS: It's up to the Prosecutor to decide how he wishes
17 to do his direct examination. I'm merely trying to help him.
18 MR. SCOTT: Thank you for your help, sir.
19 How would you like to proceed, Mr. President?
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Since you intend to go through
21 the whole document or -- do you want to go through the whole document or
22 certain points of the document?
23 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, I don't think it's fair to accuse anyone
24 of taking something out of context when the entire courtroom has the
25 entire document in front of them, and the Judges, the Defence counsel, the
1 accused themselves, everybody in this courtroom can read the entire
2 document for themselves. But if Mr. Karnavas would like, we can take the
3 time to read the entire document out loud.
4 JUDGE TRECHSEL: If I may, Mr. Karnavas, a short time ago you also
5 interfered willy-nilly and criticised the Prosecutor because he had put
6 the question in a certain way, and you suggested that he should ask, What
7 did you mean by that? Now, that's exactly what he's asking now, and I
8 must say I cannot find fault with that.
9 MR. KARNAVAS: I would agree to one -- to what extent. When we're
10 talking something out of context, and I dare say it's out of context, when
11 he's just reading one portion of it, there's a whole discussion, I believe
12 the witness here is saying a lot throughout this period, because he's
13 giving explanations, he's giving his positions. And to simply take a
14 matter and say, What did you mean? without knowing what he said before
15 that point is very difficult to follow. So when I do my
16 cross-examination, I don't have a problem going page by page, line by
17 line. It will take a long time. I merely wish the witness to give us a
18 narration or at least a general feeling of what it was that they
19 discussed, and then when we get to these three points, at least I will
20 know exactly what it is that is being conveyed by the witness.
21 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Well, I would think that we are all able to build
22 the bridges, having the document and all being professionals.
23 JUDGE PRANDLER: I would also like to ask the following, that I
24 believe that it would be really very important to listen to the witness
25 about that -- those alternatives which he referred to in this paper. And
1 when he said, and I quote, "I think we should wait. We should come to an
2 agreement. But in any case we should prepare alternative solutions like
3 when we met here on St. Ante's Day and prepared three alternative
5 I really believe that it would be good for the Bench, good for the
6 Defence, and go for every one of us here if we would listen and know about
7 these alternative solutions. Thank you.
8 MR. SCOTT:
9 Q. Mr. Kljuic, in light of the guidance that the Judges have given
10 us, can we start, please, by point of reference, and there's a reference
11 to St. Ante's Day. Can you tell us what day in the calendar that is?
12 A. It's the 13th of June, and they were one of the two major meetings
13 in Zagreb, and I attended on the 13th.
14 Q. So this is the 13th of June meeting that we discussed yesterday,
15 and you said -- you say here --
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. -- on that day and prepared three alternative solutions. So we
18 weren't able to get that from you yesterday, but could you please tell the
19 Judges now what the three alternative solutions were discussed on the 13th
20 of June, 1991.
21 A. Well, the first was a confederation for Yugoslavia. The second
22 was, above all, an integral Bosnia-Herzegovina. And third, there were two
23 points: One, if there was a division of territory, that the Croats and
24 Muslim Bosniaks should go together with Croatia; and B, if there was this
25 general division of Bosnia, that every entity should take its part.
1 Q. And on the 13th of June, 1991, did you express a view in favour of
2 any particular of those three solutions?
3 A. Yes, I did. I was in favour of an integral, sovereign
5 Q. Okay. When we go back and look at the three alternatives - I'm
6 looking on page 47, line 3 - it says the first was a confederation for
7 Yugoslavia. Can you tell us a bit more about what that would have been;
8 when you say that, what you mean.
9 A. Because of the hegemony of the Belgrade regime and Slobodan
10 Milosevic himself, the republics in the former Yugoslavia called for
11 autonomy up to the level permitted under the 1974 constitution. There
12 were proposals voiced, and this was discussed with the European Union here
13 in The Hague, according to which the federal state of Yugoslavia should
14 have five joint functions, and they would be the army, the police,
15 finance, then there was the civil or civilian, the water communications,
16 and a common currency, which means that in all other departments the
17 republics would enjoy autonomy and independence.
18 Apart from the political problems, there was the financial problem
19 that was very marked in Yugoslavia, because the resources gained by the
20 republics were not equally distributed. And I'll illustrate this by a
21 short example.
22 Croatia, for instance, had the ship-building industry, which at
23 the time was the sixth largest ship-building industry in the world. It
24 ranked sixth, and --
25 Q. We're going far afield. We're not talking about ship building
1 here. And before we lose -- we're losing it now on the transcript on the
2 screen, you said the third, there were two points: "One, if there was a
3 division of territory, that the Croats and Muslim Bosniaks should go
4 together with Croatia; and B, if there was this general division of
5 Bosnia, that every entity should take its part." So do we understand
6 correctly when you talk about a third option or a third possibility, there
7 were two variants; there was variant A and variant B, if you will?
8 A. Yes. But you can't follow what I'm saying if you're just looking
9 for, under point 3, A and B, variants or alternatives A and B. You must
10 know what the process was. On the 27th of December, at the meeting in
11 Zagreb, there was no longer the possibility of having a confederation for
13 Q. All right.
14 A. Because Croatia and Slovenia had already stepped down from the
15 federation at that time. The situation had changed completely. Their
16 positions had changed.
17 Q. Two alternatives remaining on the table, sir, is it correct, is
18 for an integral, sovereign Bosnia-Herzegovina, indivisible; and the second
19 option was either some entity that would go with Croatia or an entity that
20 would completely divide -- be divided into separate ethnic entities. Are
21 those the two options that existed at that time?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. All right. Concerning those two existing options, again as I
24 asked you earlier - perhaps we will get to it - did you tell people in
25 this meeting that you did not expect the Muslims to agree to a joint
1 organisation with the Croats in this scenario?
2 A. Well, the Muslims never agreed. Later on, with developments, they
3 even signed some sort of split agreement between the -- between President
4 Tudjman and President Izetbegovic. There would be a proposal for a
5 confederation. But that never took root, never actually happened.
6 Q. If I can direct your attention to page 12 of the transcript. You
7 will find this paragraph, or passage, on the page, please: "I think it
8 would be acceptable to have a sovereign Bosnia and Herzegovina divided
9 into cantons which would guarantee human rights to all, et cetera. But to
10 partition Bosnia according to the Serbian recipe would put us into
11 minority position as we constitute over 50 per cent in 14 municipalities
12 while in five municipalities we have a plurality."
13 Does that further confirm, sir, what you've told to the Judges
14 yesterday and today in terms of the status of the Croat majorities in
15 certain existing municipalities?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. If I can direct your attention to page 15 in the transcript.
18 A. [In English] Just one moment, please. [Interpretation] The pages
19 are numbered differently in my copy, so I find it difficult to follow,
20 Mr. Scott.
21 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I regret that I have to
22 intervene. On page 49, in line 9, the witness mentioned some sort of
23 agreement between Presidents Tudjman and Izetbegovic in Split. However,
24 in the English, it says "they even signed some sort of split agreement."
25 It turns out that they signed some sort of agreement on division. The
1 word "split" has to be capitalised. It's the name of a town. This is the
2 Split agreement, the one made in the town of Split, not an agreement about
3 division. Could the witness confirm that? But we all know this. We have
4 a document about it.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. We are talking about the
6 town. We're not talking about division.
7 Mr. Scott, please proceed.
8 MR. SCOTT: Yes, Your Honour. There's no disagreement about that.
9 Mr. Kovacic is correct, of course.
10 Q. Sir, if I could direct -- I'll do the best I can to assist you.
11 It should be approximately at page 15 of your document. If you will find
12 this section again where you begin speaking, after the president says --
13 The president says: "No, it is about partition." And Stjepan Kljuic
14 says: "No, no. Those sons-of-bitches won't commit, they will not come
15 out and say, 'Let us divide it, and you get this, we get that.'" Do you
16 see that?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Further on in that same paragraph you say -- you're referring to
19 people like Seselj. You say: "They're willing to give exactly the same
20 thing, Western Herzegovina, minus Stolac and Mostar, you understand, with
21 the Neretva as the border. The rest is theirs. They keep trying to
22 accomplish this over and over again."
23 Now, you've made several references in your testimony so far to
24 meetings and conversations that you had with representatives of the Serbs
25 or the Bosnian Serbs. Is what you say here consistent with what you've
1 told us in your previous testimony?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Continuing on in that same passage a couple, several lines down,
4 you say: "In my assessment we would accept cantonisation if one of the
5 cantons comprised Livno, half of Kupres, Bugojno, Travnik, Gornji Vakuf.
6 These are areas where we have an absolute majority. But when it comes
7 down to geographic maps, they will not accept it because there must be a
8 logic to cantons and communications or geophysical position and so on and
9 so forth." Do you see that?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Had that proposal ever been made to the Serbs that the Croats
12 would accept a division, a partition of Bosnia along the lines as you set
13 out here?
14 A. There are two processes here. Earlier we spoke about
15 cantonisation. That was a legal proceeding, and it had commissions of all
16 three peoples. Those commissions worked, but unsuccessfully, because when
17 faced with arguments, no agreement could be reached, and it explains here
18 why; because the Serbs wanted territories even in areas where they
19 amounted to only 5 per cent of the population. So one can see from this
20 that they never seriously wanted there to be a new administrative
21 structure of Bosnia and Herzegovina created through cantonisation but,
22 rather, used proposals for cantonisation to express their territorial
23 ambitions. Later developments would show that aggression on
24 Bosnia-Herzegovina was, first of all, motivated by the struggle for
1 Q. Let's me see, sir, if I could restate my question and you could
2 answer my question. Had that proposal ever been made to the Serbs that
3 the Croats would accept a division, a partition of Bosnia along the lines
4 as you've set out here?
5 A. I never had such information, but the Croatian Commission of
6 Cantonisation proposed our ideas to the Serbs about the administrative
7 division of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the Serbs never accepted that.
8 Q. In your assessment in the same statement -- passage I've referred
9 you to, was it your position that Bugojno was a majority Croat
11 A. No. But there was a large percentage of Croats in Bugojno. There
12 was no absolute majority of any one of the two most numerous people,
13 either the Bosniak Muslims or the Croats.
14 Q. Did you have any particular percentage in mind which you thought
15 at that level -- that percentage level it would be okay for one ethnic
16 group or another to assert its power over that particular area? If it was
17 5 per cent Croat, 10 per cent Croat, 30 per cent Croat? When do you
18 decide that that's enough to call it Croat?
19 A. I never thought in those terms. But if one thinks about it
20 logically, where there is at least a relative majority, there the Croats
21 would have the advantage in the executive branch.
22 Q. Now, moving aside from your particular comments at this point,
23 which we'll come back to, if you go to page 17 of the document, you will
24 find that then the second speaker appears to be -- well, other than the
25 president -- Mate Boban. And his statement begins with these words: "All
1 of you know that recently there has been an alternative entity in the
2 territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina or, rather, a continuity of the policies
3 of the Croatian Democratic Union and the Croatian people in general.
4 Something new exists called the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna and the
5 Croatian Community of Posavina in the north of Bosnia."
6 Sir, was in the nature of the meeting that after you had made your
7 presentation on your views that Mr. Boban was then asked to state his
8 views to all those in attendance?
9 A. I don't know, but he did ask to take the floor, and he did say
10 that. And it says that Herceg-Bosna is an alternative solution for the
11 Croats. So neither he nor anyone else has the courage yet to challenge
12 the legally elected leadership of the Croatian Democratic Union of
14 Q. Can you remind us again what position a man named Ignac Kostroman
15 had in the HDZ party in Bosnia-Herzegovina?
16 A. He was the business secretary or the administrative secretary. He
17 dealt with the finances and the economy of the leadership of the HDZ.
18 Q. If I can ask you to go to page 19 of the document. Mr. Kostroman
19 begins to speak, and what Mr. Kostroman does is apparently read from the
20 minutes of a meeting on the 23rd of December, 1991. If you see that.
21 Starting on page 20.
22 A. Yes, yes.
23 Q. This is described as a meeting of the Presidency of the Croatian
24 Community of Herceg-Bosna in expanded session with members of the BH HDZ
25 Presidency from the territory of Herceg-Bosna and deputies from the
1 territory of Herceg-Bosna to the BH Assembly.
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Did you attend this meeting on the 23rd of December, 1991? The
4 one in Tomislavgrad.
5 A. No, I didn't. I didn't.
6 Q. Why not?
7 A. Nobody invited me. And even had they done so, I wouldn't have
9 Q. And Mr. Kostroman at this time reads out the minutes of those
10 meetings to President Tudjman; is that correct?
11 A. To everyone present.
12 Q. In item 2 of those minutes did Mr. Kostroman report the results of
13 that meeting being taking the historic decision to establish the Croatian
14 Community of Herceg-Bosna which serves as a legal basis for the entry of
15 these territories into the Republic of Croatia?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Now, in item 6, this refers again to the conflict with you, is
18 that correct, sir? On page 20 -- excuse me, page 22 of the transcript,
19 item 6 of the minutes of that meeting being read?
20 A. It's clear that for the first time now they are putting forward
21 before President Tudjman the absolute differences in the interpretation of
22 the implementation of the policy in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
23 Q. And if you can go to the next page, page 23, item 8. Did you see
24 and did you hear at this meeting that the legitimacy of your position or
25 your office in the party had been rejected, completely rejected at the
1 meeting on the 23rd of December in Tomislavgrad?
2 A. My legitimacy could not have been rejected, but from the report of
3 the -- on the meeting in Herceg-Bosna, there was a demand that I be
4 stripped of all this.
5 Q. On item 10 on page 24, it says, "The legitimacy of Alija
6 Izetbegovic, president of Bosnia and Herzegovina, to represent the
7 Croatian people in public is hereby revoked."
8 Can you explain to the Judges, please, any legal authority or
9 basis that this Community of Herceg-Bosna had to revoke the legitimacy of
10 the president of the state?
11 A. Neither did they have the right to revoke my legitimacy nor the
12 legitimacy of President Izetbegovic. These were simply the ambitions of
13 those people who thought that all the competencies and authorities and
14 powers should be taken on by the community of Herceg-Bosna.
15 MR. KARNAVAS: Mr. President, if I may intervene. If he could
16 continue on and read the reasons why, and then perhaps the witness could
17 give us an explanation as to whether those reasons were legitimate at the
18 time, that is that the Croatian people felt that Izetbegovic and those in
19 Sarajevo were not protecting the rights of the Croatian people in Bosnia
20 as they were being attacked by the JNA and the Serbian forces.
21 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, I think, again, Mr. Karnavas will have
22 all the opportunity he has to conduct -- will have to conduct
23 cross-examination. Everyone in the courtroom has this document in front
24 of them. Everyone can read exactly what it says. I would like to be able
25 to conduct the questioning. Mr. Karnavas can conduct his
1 cross-examination as he wishes.
2 Q. Having said that, to try to avoid any problem, Mr. Kljuic,
3 assuming these statements are true, assuming for the moment that they are
4 true, these references to the Serbian army's activities, did that give the
5 people of -- the leaders of this thing called Herceg-Bosna that had been
6 self-declared, did that give them any legal basis to reject the legitimacy
7 of Mr. Izetbegovic as the legal president of the State of
9 A. Mr. Izetbegovic was not advocating the interests of the Croats at
10 those conferences on the Yugoslav level because this was being done by
11 President Tudjman. Secondly, Izetbegovic was the president of the
12 Presidency. He was presiding over the Presidency, which had seven
13 members. And he never actually made an anti-Croatian gesture. He did, to
14 be sure, say the war in Croatia is not our war, and he did have various
15 options for the solution of the Yugoslav crisis, such as the one where
16 Slovenia and Croatia would be a little more separate from Yugoslavia,
17 Macedonia would be a little closer, Serbia and Montenegro would be the
18 basis, but at certain points Mr. Alija Izetbegovic was not particularly
19 skilful. A large percentage of Bosnian and Herzegovinian Muslims
20 participated in the defence of Croatia, and there are documents to show
21 this. There are many Muslim Bosniaks today who are veterans with rights
22 in Croatia.
23 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm sorry, Mr. Kljuic. You were asked about the
24 legal basis, whether there was some legal ground to declare that the
25 legitimacy of Alija Izetbegovic had ceased, and you are giving us
1 political explanations for the background. They have their value, but it
2 would be helpful to the Bench if you answered exactly the questions of the
3 Prosecution the way they have been put. Thank you.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There was no legal basis for
5 Kostroman, Kordic, Boban, and the rest to say that Izetbegovic could not
6 represent the State of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
7 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you. Mr. Scott.
8 MR. SCOTT: Thank you.
9 Q. Forgive me, sir, while I find the other passages most directly
10 involving you.
11 As we -- as I turn to those, sir, can I direct your attention,
12 please, to page 74 of the transcript and continuing on over to page 75.
13 At this point Dario Kordic takes the floor and about the third passage in
14 that section, it says the following: "For six months we have been
15 sweating blood deliberating over the idea that you presented to us on 13
16 and 20 June."
17 Now, we've already heard that there were these two important
18 meetings on the 13th and 20th of June. Can you tell the Judges a bit more
19 about the idea that President Tudjman presented to these assembled groups
20 on 13th and 20th of June, the ones that Mr. Kordic said they've been
21 sweating blood about.
22 A. I attended only the first meeting, but at all these meetings the
23 idea was always present about the unification of all Croatian lands into
24 one state. This was not unusual, because the majority of Croats from
25 Bosnia and Herzegovina were burning with the desire to accede to Croatia.
1 This was a century's long desire. But in spite of this it was not
2 realistic. Young people with no political education or experience fall in
3 love with such an idea and imagine that God has chosen them to carry it
4 out. So that at all these meetings where serious matters were being
5 discussed, the structure of the future Yugoslavia, setting up economic
6 relations, because you should know that the tension in the former
7 Yugoslavia paralysed the life and work, the export of large companies and
8 so on and so forth, this gentleman perhaps remembered only one thing of
9 all this, that it was the desire of all of us that Croatian lands be
10 united. For him that may have been the most acceptable thing, but it was
11 immature and unrealistic because the political conditions and the
12 situation, the status of the Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina determined
13 their survival there. The fact that some people wanted there to be no
14 Bosnia and Herzegovina in order that their goals could be realised was not
16 Q. Was that Tudjman's view or just your view?
17 A. President Tudjman spoke within the bounds of what was permissible.
18 First of all - and this is perhaps most important - he wanted an
19 independent Republic of Croatia. And as for Bosnia - I mean Bosnia and
20 Herzegovina - whatever would happen would happen. And it was, therefore,
21 possible for individuals to speak out at such meetings, and you can some
22 extremist views expressed here in spite of the views of some serious
23 people such as the late Damjan Vlasic, who was the president of the HDZ in
24 Mostar. And you will see when the minister of defence of
25 Bosnia-Herzegovina, Jerko Doko, tells the president, "But they're lying
1 when they say there are so many municipalities." You know the people in
2 Zagreb didn't know us really well. They didn't know where Kupres was.
3 They knew about Mostar and Livno and so on, but they didn't know anything
4 about Dobretici, they didn't know anything about Zepce, and so on. And in
5 this situation, just as you here don't have time, for objective reasons,
6 to go into details in order to see the background in which all this was
7 taking place, neither did they. They said, "Well, what does it matter?
8 Thirty or 48, let's have as many as possible."
9 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, Your Honour, please.
10 JUDGE PRANDLER: Please be kind enough to slow down. The
11 interpreters cannot follow you. I just said that, sir, I would like you
12 to be so kind as to slow down because the interpreters cannot follow you.
13 Thank you.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you. I really was speaking
15 very fast.
16 In such a situation, people had neither the patience nor the will
17 to give serious consideration to all this. This was a general idea while
18 Yugoslavia is falling apart, let's unite. This was in the heart of every
19 serious person. But the political reality determining our fate in Bosnia
20 and Herzegovina was such as it was, and it was part of my political
22 Until this meeting, never, either in Zagreb or in Sarajevo, had
23 anybody officially risen against this policy. You were able to see at one
24 point when President Tudjman generously says, "Stjepan, you have a lot of
25 merit. You've been very good so far, but things are changing now." You
1 see, I was not ready for those changes as a person who whole-heartedly
2 belonged to the party, the Croatian Democratic Union. For purposes of
3 national unity, I was prepared to leave. And in the text you can see that
4 I'm offering President Tudjman and all the rest my resignation, because a
5 conflict arose here between the legalists and those who did not respect
6 the legal system.
7 I could have set the meeting alight with a fiery nationalistic
8 speech. There was a man there who spoke about what had happened since
9 King Tomislav of the 9th century, since the 10th century, that President
10 Tudjman was one of the two greatest Croats. These are words that sound
11 fine, and he probably had some advantages because of what he said, but I
12 didn't want to make those kind of speeches. This was a very difficult
13 meeting. There's a specific way in which I fled from Zagreb at the time,
14 but this was the end of the legal conception of the HDZ. From the 27th of
15 December, other people would take the stage, front-stage people who would
16 be acting contrary to our political platform adopted at the convention in
18 I'm sorry that a regular convention was not held where they could
19 have presented their new political option and probably they would have had
20 a majority and a new president and have been given legitimacy.
21 Q. If I can turn your attention, sir, to page 105 of the document.
22 After all these other people have spoken, you again become involved in the
23 meeting. Stjepan Kljuic: "Mr. President, please, let me tell you, I
24 cannot leave this meeting just like that, you know what the two of us have
25 been through in this year and a half, you know all that I have done and
1 what I have not."
2 The president: "Kljuic, let us not waste time. We think, not
3 only I, the Croatian leadership in general thinks that since becoming the
4 head of the HDZ, you have all in all done a good job. I shall tell you,
5 though, I shall repeat what I just said, that lately you have become
6 closer to Izetbegovic's policy regarding these negotiations which we
7 wanted. I have written down somewhere the date when we discussed how
8 talks should be held with both sides, and our aim, our aim from the
9 beginning, from the proclamation we issued, if you want, was not to
10 preserve Bosnia and Herzegovina as it is today. Essentially, this is not
11 in the interest of the Croatian policy, as Croatian policy would in this
12 way be permanently frustrated by the demographic and territorial loss in
13 Bosnia and Herzegovina.
14 "Therefore, we finally wanted, and it was no accident that in the
15 preamble to the Croatian constitution we also mention the Banovina of
17 Now, didn't Mr. -- didn't President Tudjman make it very, very
18 clear to you now what his ambitions and what the plan -- what the Croatian
19 programme and plan was?
20 A. As you've already heard, he said that everything was fine up until
21 that time but that something new had happened, and that's why he put the
22 banovina in the programme. However, if you want me to explain what the
23 banovina was, I'll be happy to do so, but I have to say that it was not
24 possible to implement it in practice because of the unsettled political
25 question in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia --
1 Q. Let's talk sir --
2 A. -- as --
3 Q. -- about 1991, December of 1991. Why was it not possible at that
4 time to implement -- if it was not in your view -- not possible to
5 implement the banovina?
6 A. Well, it wasn't possible because a banovina disrupts the tissue of
7 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and because of the territories that the Croatian
8 Banovina encompassed on the basis of the 1939 agreement in September and
9 destroyed on the 6th of April, 1944, today were not territories and
10 regions where the Croats were in the majority. And to conjoin areas of
11 that kind to the Republic of Croatia was impossible because of the
12 existence of Bosnia-Herzegovina. However, among the people who did not
13 show respect for either facts or reality, the banovina was some sort of
14 ideal and obsession.
15 Q. Who were those people? You say among the people who had this
16 view. Can you name some of these people who had this view that the
17 banovina was "some sort of ideal and obsession"?
18 A. Well, the first one was President Tudjman. You can see that today
19 from this document. And the others followed suit, followed the idea,
20 because at the time anybody who supported President Tudjman more would be
21 considered a better Croat. And I say this now, they would have better
22 chances of succeeding personally, on personal level. I gave up any
23 possibility of doing so that way.
24 Q. Sir, before we go on to another passage where your speak again,
25 can I direct your attention, please, further on in the same passage we
1 were looking at a moment ago where the banovina is mentioned. President
2 Tudjman goes on to say, as referring to the Serbs: "The Muslims can come
3 with us to Croatia and that way we would have the Muslims against us, but
4 if we told them that we were in favour of their having a statelet of their
5 own in the remnants of Bosnia, then they would have to be content with
6 that." And did you continue to -- did you indicate to President Tudjman
7 after that that you thought that was not a realistic situation? And I
8 draw your attention to --
9 A. Certainly.
10 Q. Excuse me. -- when you begin speaking again on page 107. You may
11 want to look at that. Can you look at that passage, sir? Can you
12 summarise to us then what further you said to President Tudjman after he
13 indicated to you that the Muslims would have -- would have no choice but
14 to accept their statelet in a remnant Bosnia?
15 A. Well, that was undermining the Muslims, and it brought to the
16 Croats of Bosnia-Herzegovina -- it only did damage to them. You know the
17 efforts that were made for the Muslims not to join the Serb side. From
18 these documents -- well, you weren't able to see the great efforts
19 invested by Milosevic to draw in the Muslims and attract them, either
20 through direct office to Mr. Izetbegovic or through meetings of
21 intellectuals or again through trying to get them on board, those Muslim
22 Bosniaks who were in the police force and the army. So the Muslims at
23 that time had become a mature people, and they were very conscious of
24 their self. And anybody who questioned their national identity was an
25 enemy, according to them.
1 I was a politician from Bosnia-Herzegovina who considered that as
2 far as we were concerned, at a point in time when there was aggression on
3 the part of the JNA and Milosevic and Karadzic and Martic and that it had
4 reached full intensity, that it was very important to have your Muslims on
5 board as political friends and at the same time they were the ones who
6 were in jeopardy. So to strip them of their identity and their equal
7 rights as we and the Serbs enjoyed and say they would have to be satisfied
8 with some statelet, automatically gave rise to resistance on the part of
9 the Muslims. This reverberated very badly, to say they had to. Nobody
10 had to do anything, because Croatia wasn't a force and power that could
11 dictate anyone anything. It was blocked. A third of its territory was
12 blocked, whereas in Bosnia, in December, 1991, many parts of Croatia, many
13 regions were under Serb occupation, and many people had already fled at
14 that time, had to flee.
15 So as serious people we did look at all the variants and
16 alternatives, but that kind of conduct and to say that the Muslims would
17 have to accept what they were offered, either to join us, be with us or
18 not, was completely wrong politically, and this led to the tragedies that
20 Q. Sir, continuing on where you next speak again on page 107, you
21 start out by saying, "Mr. President, with all due respect, let me explain
22 things ..." And then you go on to say: "The idea of 13 June was mine.
23 Mr. Vlasic developed it, Mr. Doko and I brought you the papers here, if
24 you remember, Vice Vukojevic and Mr. Ramljak were present as well, there
25 were quite a few of us.
1 "Therefore, I am not against it, but we agreed to put it into
2 action at a certain moment. In my judgement, it was not the right
4 Now, what was your idea on the 13th of June that you claim "was
5 mine," and how was it that it was not the right moment to implement that?
6 A. Well, people -- leading person, personages leading people in a
7 wartime situation had to have a number of alternatives or variants, and
8 this latter alternative, the last one, was this: If somebody brings us to
9 a fait accompli, for instance, and as nobody brought us to a fait
10 accompli, then what they were simply asking for was that we come out with
11 options, come up with options which would disrupt the State of
12 Bosnia-Herzegovina. And when we mentioned these 30 municipalities, then
13 that is the result of the Commission for Cantonisation and its work, the
14 one I told you about.
15 So everybody proposed cantonisation according to historical,
16 national, geophysical factors and components which would lead to a
17 grouping of municipalities with a certain majority. And when it came to
18 cantonisation, the question of human rights were always brought up. So
19 minority nations which would remain within administrative entities in the
20 cantons of another ethnic group or national group which would be in the
21 majority would be protected according to European standards of human
22 rights. So that was that particular variant. Of course I said if that
23 ever happens, and that was the last resort, which never entered my head to
24 say this on the 27th of December, two months before Bosnia and Herzegovina
25 was recognised internationally. Because at the same time while they were
1 going about their business, I strove with other Presidency members and the
2 representatives the European Union and America that Bosnia-Herzegovina be
3 given the same status as Slovenia and Croatia. And since everything had
4 already been done to recognise Slovenia and Croatia, we were the next in
5 line, and we succeeded in this. And I have to say that on the 22nd of
6 May, 1992, we managed to have all three republics become members of the
7 United Nations.
8 Q. Sir --
9 A. On the same day.
10 Q. Continuing on, on to page 108 after you spoke about what you've
11 just described and again about the 30 municipalities, President Tudjman
12 then responds to you: "Wait a minute. When we say that, you see 30 per
13 cent of the Croatian territory, but what does this territory mean for the
14 Croatian state? Therefore, if you consider only one element, it seems as
15 if it should be rejected immediately. But you have to consider it in
16 respect of what I said, that the State of Croatia cannot survive such as
17 it is, but a Croatian state even within the borders of the banovina could,
18 not to mention if these borders were improved on."
19 And then you go on to say, "But, Mr. President, this version means
20 that Knin and Drvar will join forces."
21 Now, what did you mean by that, that his version would mean that
22 Knin and Drvar would join forces?
23 A. Well, that was the version that spoke of the division of
24 Bosnia-Herzegovina. The president of the Republic of Croatia is calling
25 for a banovina, and if he gets a banovina, then the Serbs will get their
1 part and Serbian Drvar will link up with the Serbian Knin Krajina in the
2 Republic of Croatia. And otherwise, the Serbs, all the Serbs, regardless
3 of whether they were democrats or Chetniks, called for no borders between
4 Serb lands. And I have to say that Martic, as the leader of Knin, with
5 his police came to Drvar.
6 So if President Tudjman gets his banovina, then the Serbs will
7 link up Drvar and Knin and put a nail in the coffin of the Croatian state.
8 Q. Mr. Kljuic, did you then go on to explain to President Tudjman
9 that if some solution was proposed based on demographic majorities, that
10 this would leave many areas outside the Croatian territory? I direct your
11 attention to later on page 108: "Mr. President, in that case towns in
12 which Croats today do not form the majority but which have a tradition
13 that belong to the Croatian corpus, towns like Konjic, Mostar, Stolac,
14 Derventa, Doboj, Jajce, Bugojno and Travnik would remain outside the
15 Croatian domain."
16 And did Mr. -- did President Tudjman have any response to that
17 concern, if you can tell us?
18 A. President Tudjman, first of all, didn't like people answering him
19 back, and probably I was the first person during the history of his rule,
20 somebody who had more dialogue with him than anything else. You can see
21 that on the basis of the documents.
22 When somebody has a fictitious idea and when he poses that as a
23 primary political task without taking into consideration any of the
24 elements involved, then it's absurd to speak about whether those people --
25 or to tell those people that that's not a good idea.
1 First of all, the banovina was not feasible. It didn't even take
2 root in 1939. It existed for 18 months. It didn't have its army, it
3 didn't have its currency or anything else, its administration, and so on
4 and so forth. It never actually was implemented.
5 And secondly, on the basis of that kind of banovina, which just
6 lasted a year and a half, as a compromise solution to -- as a compromise
7 by the Belgrade court to create foundations for a banovina in 1991 and
8 1992 was completely unrealistic given the prevailing conditions.
9 And finally, the problem of banovina and the problem of
10 Herceg-Bosna was that a large portion of the Croatian populace was left
11 outside those administrative units. And that is why, as far as I'm
12 concerned, as president of the Croatian Democratic Union and member of the
13 Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the only way out was an independent
14 Bosnia and Herzegovina, because if we had that, then we would be able to
15 protect all the citizens of Bosnia-Herzegovina, including the Croats
16 within it.
17 Q. Sir, in the passage -- continuing in the same passage that began
18 -- the one I referred you to a moment ago, continuing on over to page 110
19 -- actually, if we can go back to page 109, excuse me. If we can find
20 this, please: "The question is, how possible is it for us to achieve what
21 the Serbs did in the Krajina and in Trebinje. I would like to
22 congratulate these gentlemen. I would even be proud of them, and it even
23 says in one of the texts submitted to you that the application of Croatian
24 laws is demanded, that the application of Croatian laws is demanded in
25 Busovaca, Travnik, Vitez, et cetera.
1 "Gentlemen, municipal presidents come to me saying it is
2 impossible to implement. I wish they could.
3 "Furthermore, we consider that we should talk, but in all those
4 talks, gentlemen, everyone asks who will be the first to propose a
5 partition of Bosnia? Everyone one says let us see about cantonisation and
6 so forth. When we brought the Serbs to the point of telling them you are
7 the instigators, you will not be a part of an independent Bosnia and
8 Herzegovina, and so on, please produce a paper on it, they only brought us
9 a paper with a Belgrade initiative, but they have the press.
10 "The question is, who will be the first to bite?"
11 Can you tell the Judges, please, what this is all about, this
12 question of who is the first to bite, and how did that enter into your
13 discussions with President Tudjman and the other members of the
15 A. Well, there are two points here. The first is that the people
16 saying that a banovina should be set up and take over areas where they're
17 not the majority population already on the 27th of December asked for the
18 application of Croatian law in those territories. That is a paradox that
19 just cannot be understood.
20 The second point is this: When we set up the Commissions for
21 Cantonisation, we prevailed upon the Serbs through argument to realise
22 that if Bosnia-Herzegovina were to be divided, they would only have 31 per
23 cent. And apart from that, that didn't satisfy their ambitions, because
24 all over Eastern Bosnia - Zvornik, Visegrad, Foca especially - the Muslims
25 were in the majority, and they wanted to take those areas. And later on,
1 they did so militarily, and in Dayton they were given it in the form of
2 Republika Srpska.
3 So those political amateurs just kept talking and talking, "We're
4 going to introduce Croatian law in Travnik, Vitez, and so on, they'll have
5 to listen to us." I said that's not realistic. And when it came to a
6 question of division, we could have accepted division only on the basis of
7 cantonisation and the projects that were designed in an expert, scientific
8 manner, not based on political pretensions or winning over territory
9 militarily. We couldn't do that. The Serbs had already taken control of
10 the areas they wanted to retain, and on the other hand I have to tell you
11 that as far as I was concerned the most difficult problem was that any
12 kind of division would mean that a large number of Croats would be left
13 outside that community, and they were Croats in the large towns, and you
14 must be aware of the fact that we had the largest number of literate and
15 well-educated people, looking at the overall population census, and that
16 in Sarajevo there were just 7 or 8 per cent of us because it's a large
17 city, but culturally speaking, the cultural and public life of the city,
18 there were between 30 and 40 per cent of us; university professors,
19 actors, what have you, singers, et cetera, sportsmen and the like. So the
20 Croats had the --
21 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... my question, and that is,
22 please, I asked you, the language here says, "Who will be the first to
23 bite?" Can you tell the Judges how that was a factor, a topic of
24 discussion in this group, both on previous occasions and on this occasion.
25 A. [No interpretation].
1 MR. MURPHY: I think we're having a problem with the
2 interpretation, Your Honours.
3 THE INTERPRETER: Can you hear the English now?
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Answer the question,
5 please, again.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you. As I was saying, when we
7 started with cantonisation, we gave expert -- provided expert maps, and
8 the Serbs saw that what they would gain in Bosnia-Herzegovina did not
9 satisfy their ambitions. On the other hand, it was very difficult to
10 assess the behaviour and conduct of certain individuals, regardless of
11 their academic titles. Karadzic, for instance. He's a physician.
12 However -- well, they were people that were just not suited to the posts
13 they occupied. And they always asked for the maximum they could get. And
14 what was most important is that the final borders and boundaries of
15 Bosnia-Herzegovina, in 1699, territories changed rulers very often.
16 Q. All right. Sir, we're not going to go back to 1699 now, but was
17 it ever discussed in this meeting or in any other meeting that it was to
18 the advantage of the Croatian programme if the Serbs were seen as the ones
19 that had caused, that had instigated the break-up?
20 A. Well, the Serbs already on a domestic level and internationally
21 were seen as those who were destroying Bosnia-Herzegovina. However, I
22 belonged to the circle of people who fought for the independence of
23 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and it was very likely. Of course, the people taking
24 part in the Zagreb meeting, among them there were people who couldn't wait
25 for Bosnia-Herzegovina to be divided, either because they were in regions
1 which would certainly come to belong to the Croats, or had some political
2 ambitions of their own. But the fact remains that I did not allow, at
3 least not in my name and through my presence, us to discuss that division.
4 And I have to say that there were private contacts, contacts on a
5 private level, because the Serbs were never idle. The Serbs constantly
6 sought to find individuals through mediators, go-betweens, and so on, but
7 you have to know that people were -- had kinship relations, family ties
8 between the ethnic groups. But anyway, the Serbs tried to do two things,
9 to inveigle the Croats to embrace the programme for Bosnia-Herzegovina and
10 to compromise myself as being a Muslim man.
11 Q. Let me direct your attention on to page 111 where you speak --
12 well, President Tudjman says, "Stjepan, let us be concrete now. Let us
13 not waste time, please."
14 Stjepan Kljuic: "The third version -- just let me finish,
15 Mr. President, just two minutes.
16 "The third version was that the Muslims would not want to come
17 with us, that the Serbs wanted their part, so we would launch into
18 propaganda about how this was a question of Europe and the Balkans, of
19 Belgrade and Zagreb. Then we would have a chance of getting the Travnik
20 Muslims, the Bugojno Muslims, those from Jajce, so Croatia would get a
21 block. This should be prepared.
22 "That is why we said we should have a commission for
24 A. Excellent. You see, when President Tudjman said that the Muslims
25 don't want to, then the Croats would remain in Serboslavia, which would
1 mean an expanded Serbia and Montenegro. We did not want to agree to that.
2 And that was the only variant where I happened to agree with everybody in
3 the hall. The whole thing we should not do is to stay in Yugoslavia.
4 Now, it's a technical matter how we're going to step down, or out.
5 On the other hand, if this was done on a broader basis, and in
6 actual fact that was the conflict between the Balkan and the European in
7 Bosnia-Herzegovina, those two elements, if that propaganda was put
8 through, we would have greater chance of winning over some people who
9 thought differently and who had their sights set on the West.
10 It's not said here but it was assumed that there would be a
11 referendum on that. And you know that we actually did have a referendum
12 later on for the independence of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Anyway, all those
13 alternatives and variants, the only task - and that was my special task -
14 was to see that the Croats in Bosnia-Herzegovina should not in any single
15 part should remain in Milosevic's Serboslavia.
16 Q. Is it correct, sir, that these three options that we've now
17 discussed a couple of times today, these were all the points that had been
18 under discussion since the meeting on the 13th of June, 1991?
19 A. Yes, with different intensities.
20 Q. So when the previous documents that were being discussed, and we
21 saw records of HDZ meetings talking about the Commission for
22 Cantonisation, this was all carrying out the discussions that had been had
23 with President Tudjman on the 13th of June, 1991; correct?
24 A. Well, it needn't mean that. The Commission for Cantonisation
25 worked on the basis of the documents that it was provided with, taking
1 into account history, geography, geophysics, and so on, communication and
2 those elements.
3 Q. In the next paragraph, you say, "Inside Bosnia and Herzegovina we
4 should re-draw several municipalities." Why was that?
5 A. Let me just take a moment to find that portion, please.
6 Q. Immediately after the portion we were just looking at.
7 A. Yes, here it is here. Well, you see here, during the communist
8 era, many Croat settlements were abolished as municipalities in order to
9 join them on to other national entities that were in the majority. There
10 was the municipality of Ravno, in Popovo Polje, in Eastern Herzegovina,
11 for instance, which was Croatian traditionally, a Croatian municipality
12 traditionally, but in 1967 it was abolished and joined to Trebinje. Now,
13 in Trebinje already at that time you had an absolute Serb majority and
14 very orthodox political leaders, with the Communist label but they were
15 pronounced when it came to Serb interests, and so the municipality began
16 to atrophy and the Croats began to move out. They moved out of Trebinje
17 and so on.
18 The other case or example is a large Croatian settlement of
19 Dobretici, which is located between Skender Vakuf, Jajce and Travnik,
20 those three crossroads, and it was a good idea to link it to Travnik
21 because then the Croats were the majority, or to link them to Jajce where
22 the Croats once again were the majority population. But you know what
23 happened, the Communists joined Dobretici to Skender Vakuf where the
24 Croats were a negligible number, and of course Dobretici atrophied. They
25 didn't have the finances, the educational system, the health system. So I
1 suggested to President Tudjman -- and I'm sure he didn't know of this, he
2 wasn't aware of that -- that by restructuring those municipalities you
3 could get certain regions, and this was in our interest, for Dobretici to
4 be joined to Travnik or Jajce. They would have preferred Jajce because of
5 communication reasons, medicine, and so on.
6 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
7 A. So that was --
8 Q. -- because I think I can finish the questioning, at least the
9 Prosecution's questioning, on this document before the break. The Judges
10 may have questions about the document as well. But if I can direct your
11 final attention for this document to page 113. And after several -- you
12 begin speaking again, and after the first two paragraphs or portions, then
13 you go on to say: "Well, let me tell you regarding the policy here. It
14 is not possible for the seventh dwarf to get up and make a ruckus about
15 it. I did everything you told me to do. We cannot go on. You want
16 Herceg-Bosna? You want Boban? Well, you're welcome to them, gentlemen.
17 I resign. I'm always ready to resign Mr. President."
18 Did you mean that, sir, and did you resign sometime after this
20 A. I must tell you that this is a very clear dialogue between me and
21 them. I did not agree to that policy, and even before this when we spoke
22 privately in the president's home - and this was not recorded - I said to
23 him, "Mr. President, you cannot get me to do this. There's little Boban
24 who can hardly wait to do it." I was ready to resign. Maybe I was wrong.
25 If the majority of the Croatian leaders wanted something and Stjepan
1 Kljuic doesn't want it, then it's quite normal and an honourable course
2 for me to step down. And that's what I wanted to do, but they did not
3 agree to it. But 37 days after that, the finale arrived and there was a
4 total split.
5 Q. Sir, so just so the record is clear, on line 22, page 75, when you
6 said you had had another conversation and you said, "Mr. President," were
7 you referring to President Tudjman?
8 A. Yes.
9 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, I have no further questions about this
10 document, and it might be the appropriate time to take the break.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. So that the Bench knows
12 where it's going, how much time do you need still?
13 MR. SCOTT: To be honest, Your Honour, I hadn't thought about that
14 in the last few minutes --
15 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
16 MR. SCOTT: I haven't really been thinking about that in the last
17 few minutes, but -- give me one moment, please. Well, I would hope with a
18 little luck we might be able to finish in an hour and a half. Maybe less.
19 Maybe we can cut some additional items based on what the witness has
20 already said.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Which means that the
22 Defence will not quite have three hours. The Defence will have four hours
23 tomorrow. We have three hours this afternoon, so it's going to be very
24 short. For the time being, you have had five hours and 14 minutes.
25 MR. SCOTT: Yes, Your Honour. Five hours or four hours? We have
1 four hours and 45 minutes is what we have. Maybe there's some -- but in
2 any event, Your Honour, I may -- I may have misheard. You said there were
3 four hours tomorrow. Tomorrow is a full day, is it not?
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, I'm sorry. Yes, that's
5 right. Tomorrow we have a hearing in the morning and in the afternoon.
6 But that said, the Defence will have approximately the same time as you
7 have had.
8 Mr. Karnavas, you have the floor.
9 MR. KARNAVAS: As I understood Mr. Scott, he indicated that I
10 would have all the opportunity. That was his -- to quote him, all the
11 opportunity to cross-examine. All the opportunity means that I should
12 have the opportunity that is necessary for me to do the cross-examination,
13 and as I indicated, given the complexities of what we're discussing and
14 all the documents, that the time that I would need would be a lot more
15 than what time the Prosecutor is spending, not to mention my colleagues,
16 so I'm just saying right now I envisage the gentleman returning at some
17 other point to The Hague because we won't be able to complete him by
18 tomorrow. At least, that's what my opinion is.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, but I'd like to know
20 this on the Defence side: Mr. Karnavas, are you going to be doing the
21 cross-examination on behalf of the other Defence counsel? You cannot be
22 entitled to six hours and all the other Defence counsel six hours also, so
23 I'd like to know how you've worked it out between you.
24 MR. KARNAVAS: Well, Your Honour, as I've indicated in the past
25 it's not easy to work out things. For instance, there's a new counsel in
1 the case. I haven't met her. I haven't talked to her. I don't know if
2 she knows anything about the case, so I don't know how I can divide any
3 topics with her. But as I've indicated in the past, I represent a client
4 and I have to do whatever I can for my client. Everybody else, if they
5 want six hours apiece, they can have them as far as I'm concerned. Of
6 course, I'm not the president of the Trial Chamber or the Trial Chamber,
7 but we are we're all fighting for our time. I know that the Stojic team
8 has a significant amount of questioning. I was told - I was told - that
9 the Praljak team would give their time to me, or at least the majority of
10 it, so they've been very generous. I don't know what the others are about
11 to do. And I don't want to be in a position, Mr. President, that I'm
12 pressuring others to give up their time in representing their clients and
13 their clients' interests in order for me to represent my client. It just
14 puts them in an uncomfortable position and in an unethical position. So
15 with that being said, we will talk among ourselves over the break and
16 we'll try to be as efficient as we can, but I can just see it right now, I
17 see it that we're not going to be able to finish.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, but try to be
19 efficient, because up until now this witness has only talked about
20 political affairs and his meetings with Tudjman. He has never mentioned
21 the names of any of the accused, so we are addressing questions which are
22 of a very general nature. So we could expect to have a global
23 cross-examination in response. This is how I'm trying to make things more
24 rational, to avoid people asking the same questions, because after a few
25 hours, I think we all understand what is at stake.
1 Over the lunch break, maybe you could decide amongst yourselves
2 what you can do. I don't know what the other Judges feel, but I don't
3 think it is necessary to spend many more hours about what has already been
5 So we shall take stock of the situation later on today. It is now
6 12.30. We shall resume after the break and resume at 2.00. See you then.
7 --- Luncheon recess taken at 12.30 p.m.
8 --- On resuming at 2.08 p.m.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The hearing is now resumed. Has
10 Defence been able to agree on the time they need to spend on their
11 cross-examination jointly? Mr. Karnavas, you have the floor.
12 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Mr. President, Your Honours. I did
13 manage to speak with one of my colleagues from the Stojic team, and it's
14 my understanding that they need two hours. We will need -- we believe we
15 need about six hours for the gentleman. I know that Mr. Praljak would
16 like between 15 minutes to a half an hour, and I believe two member -- the
17 other members wish to see how the -- will make a decision at the
18 conclusion of the direct examination.
19 [Trial Chamber confers]
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Karnavas, I will give you
21 the floor. Personally I read the Kordic judgement on all those issues
22 that we've been concerned about since yesterday. In paragraph 139 of the
23 judgement, it can be summed up in six sentences. They spent hours on it
24 also. So we are all able to do our sums and bear in mind judicial
25 economy, but this has to be useful. So you have been -- you've just asked
1 to have ten hours to cross-examine this witness on issues which perhaps
2 the Judges will sum up in 10 to 15 sentences in the judgement. So that's
3 in essence what it is all about.
4 MR. KARNAVAS: Mr. President, Your Honours, with the utmost
5 respect - with the utmost respect - the gentleman here is not just
6 testifying about some minor issues. It goes to the core of the
7 Prosecution's mode of liability, the joint criminal enterprise, and there
8 are a lot of documents that might be useful in getting the gentleman's
9 point of view, because perhaps they may shed light in a different light --
10 in a different manner, because it's our contention that what the gentleman
11 is claiming today is not exactly quite accurate, and so that's why we need
12 the time. We have a lot of documents.
13 I keep repeating myself, but when the Prosecution introduces a lot
14 of documents, knowing that the Trial Chamber is going to look at every
15 single word, it behooves us, when we have the gentleman here -- and these
16 are documents that the gentleman -- most of them the gentleman generated
17 himself, or at least signed on behalf of -- as president of the HDZ. So
18 that's the dilemma that we have.
19 Now, the Prosecution, if they wish to tender fewer documents and
20 narrow the scope of the indictment, then we won't need this much time, but
21 the joint criminal enterprise is -- is an important mode of liability that
22 cuts across on everyone.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We shall see. If
24 the cross-examination is not completed tomorrow, we shall have to see what
25 happens at a later stage.
1 Mr. Scott, you have the floor.
2 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. President. Two things very quickly.
3 We have handed out just before we started - and I hope it's been provided
4 to you already; if not, the registry probably has them - Exhibit -- it's
5 in e-court, but it's Exhibit P 00081 in hard copy, which is the version of
6 the minutes of the declaration on the founding of the Croatian Community
7 of Herceg-Bosna, certainly the one that I had intended to use, and I
8 provided that to all the Defence and to the Chamber, and again I apologise
9 for the earlier confusion. I simply note that for your attention.
10 Secondly -- secondly, Your Honour, I will say that over the lunch
11 break I did go through and shorten my remaining outline considerably based
12 on having reviewed the testimony and what's been covered so far, and I
13 must say at this point I think the speed with which we're able to finish
14 the direct examination will be largely dependent upon whether we can get
15 concise answers from the witness. Thank you.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. You are quite right, in
17 fact, Mr. Scott. When the witness responds, it takes a long time.
18 Witness, please try and answer in the most succinct manner
19 possible. Sometimes a question is put to you and it takes you four to
20 five minutes to answer that question. In a ideal world that's fine, but
21 unfortunately, as I'm sure you've understood, we are pressed for time and
22 we need to go to the essential, so please make an effort and shorten your
23 answers, please. We would be most grateful.
24 You may proceed, Mr. Scott.
25 THE WITNESS: May I speak very short?
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Be brief, please.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] First of all, I wish to let you know
3 that my business obligations are such that I cannot remain in The Hague
4 after tomorrow. The president I work for is leaving on Monday on an
5 international visit, and I have a lot of obligations in this connection.
6 Secondly, at the Kordic trial, I was the expert confirming the
7 authenticity of certain documents tendered to the Court, and I knew
8 nothing about the possible crimes that the accused may have committed
9 because I was in Sarajevo and he was in another area. The same applies to
10 the accused present here. As I have already told the representatives of
11 the Tribunal, I'm not aware of any crime that they may have committed and
12 that I was in contact with them at the time.
13 When I was the president of the HDZ, either they were not there or
14 they were in minor positions. When they became the leaders, I had long
15 left the HDZ, and also we were separated territorially. Thank you.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you for having
17 clarified this. Rest assured you won't be asked to stay on until Thursday
18 or Friday. Quite clearly, if you need to come back here, you will come
19 back at a later stage. So as far as that is concerned, you need not be
20 concerned. We have noted what you have said in light of what -- in light
21 of the Kordic judgement and of the accused.
22 MR. SCOTT:
23 Q. Mr. Kljuic, if I could ask --
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott, you have the floor.
25 MR. SCOTT: If I could ask that the witness be shown Exhibit 00110
1 very briefly.
2 Q. And with the usher's assistance to be able -- so you can see a bit
3 more of that document, if you can look at that and confirm to us, please,
4 is this a record of the decisions taken at a meeting of the Presidency of
5 the HDZ of Bosnia-Herzegovina on the 16th of January, 1992?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And this is a meeting that you -- that you did chair of that body
8 after -- well, on this date in January, 1992?
9 A. Yes. Yes.
10 Q. In paragraph number 8, the efforts -- it says, "The municipalities
11 close to the town to --" excuse me -- "to the town of Sarajevo that are
12 not included in the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna must immediately
13 form the Sarajevo Croatian Community."
14 And can you tell us, sir, whether that community was ever in fact
15 formed in such a way similar to the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna or
16 the Croatian Community of Posavina?
17 A. Neither was there any intention to form the community on such a
18 basis nor was it possible. It was formally established in the following
19 manner: The representatives of the HDZ parties of those municipalities
20 got together at a meeting, but it never took root, not even at the party
22 Q. All right. Sir, now I want to turn our attention to the next few
23 minutes to the referendum that was held in Bosnia-Herzegovina on the 29th
24 of February and the 1st of March of 1992, on the independence of
1 Just by way of introduction, sir, can you confirm that it was the
2 requirement of the European Community, as expressed through the Badinter
3 Commission, that a referendum be held in Bosnia and Herzegovina to
4 determine the wishes of the people in terms of independence from
6 A. The Badinter Commission gave State status to Bosnia and
7 Herzegovina as well as to the other republics, but in order for
8 independence to be recognised, a referendum had to be held.
9 Q. Can I direct your attention to Exhibit P 00116. And again I'll
10 ask you to have a chance -- I'll give you a chance to see that. And is
11 this the -- a record of the meeting of the Presidency of the Croatian
12 Community of Herceg-Bosna expanded to include presidents of municipal
13 boards of the HDZ of BiH, dated the 29th of January, 1992?
14 A. That's what it appears to be.
15 Q. Now, did you understand around this time, sir, that there were
16 various issues or questions that developed among the Croatian Community,
17 or at least the HDZ party and the Herceg-Bosna entity, about the -- what
18 the position, what the Croatian position should be on the referendum and
19 questions about the language used in the referendum question itself?
20 A. Of course there was more than one opinion, but the issue of the
21 referendum or, rather, the question to be put at the referendum was
22 formulated at the Assembly of Bosnia-Herzegovina attended by the majority
23 of Croatian deputies. I think 41 out of 44.
24 Q. Did you come to understand that at least some part of the HDZ
25 membership and the leadership of Herceg-Bosna found the existing language
1 of the referendum question to be -- to present a problem, in terms of the
2 sovereignty, what they perceived to be the sovereignty of the Croatian
4 A. Yes. Yes, but that was their personal opinion.
5 Q. In reference to -- on the document, if you go to the heading, if
6 you can find under "Decisions" overall heading number 1, but then it's the
7 section that it states: "The historical sovereignty of the Croatian
8 population of BH ..."
9 And in the second paragraph of that section, it says: "Should the
10 referendum 'for a sovereign BH' pass, the Croatian and Serbian nations
11 will become ethnic minorities."
12 And can you briefly describe to the Judges, if you know, in what
13 way would the referendum as it was previous -- as it was then worded was
14 it perceived would take away the sovereignty of the Croatian people?
15 A. That's simply not true. First of all, it's a paradox that this
16 community should be advocating the interests of the Serbian people; and
17 secondly, the ethnic make-up in Bosnia-Herzegovina in that year was 44.3
18 per cent Muslims, 31 per cent Serbs, 17.4 per cent Croats, and the rest
19 were either Yugoslavs or others. With the granting of independence, we
20 would not have lost any of our sovereignty, because according to the then
21 valid constitution, it said that Bosnia-Herzegovina was the state of its
22 constituent peoples, Serbs, Croats, Muslims, in whatever order, and the
23 other nations and nationalities and citizens living in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
24 Q. Skipping one paragraph of the document and going down to the
25 paragraph that says: "The Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna is in favour
1 of a referendum of BH citizens after certain acceptable conditions have
2 been fulfilled."
3 Did you have any understanding of what these acceptable conditions
5 A. It wasn't clear to me then, and it isn't clear to me now. The
6 referendum was announced by the Assembly which appointed a commission for
7 the referendum, and this was all within the institutions of Bosnia and
8 Herzegovina. Any demands outside that were illegitimate.
9 Q. All right. Before we leave this document to go back up to the
10 first paragraph under heading one, the decision on the calling of the
11 plebiscite. There's a discussion in this paragraph about a decision on
12 the conduct of a plebiscite of the Croatian people in BH, that is in
13 Croatian communities, to be held before the referendum. And just so
14 there's no confusion between this plebiscite and the referendum that we're
15 talking about, can you just confirm to the Judges that these were two
16 separate -- two separate matters?
17 A. Well, first of all, you should know that before this the Serbs had
18 called their own so-called plebiscite at which there were 22 per cent more
19 votes than there were Serbs, and they said they didn't want any kind of
20 independent Bosnia-Herzegovina but wanted to remain within Yugoslavia.
21 As far as the international community was concerned, this
22 referendum was not valid. We Croats doing whatever the Serbs had done to
23 a lesser effect was simply not possible. The referendum in Bosnia and
24 Herzegovina was called for the 29th of February and the 1st of March,
25 1993. That was a year in which February had 29 days.
1 In the State of Bosnia-Herzegovina, we had to fulfil concern
2 conditions with respect to the terms of the referendum.
3 Q. All right. Let me ask you there, first of all: You just said 1st
4 of March, 1993. Did you mean to say 1992?
5 A. 2, 2. I did say 2. I don't know how it was interpreted.
6 Q. And can you please just indicate then, although this separate
7 plebiscite was mentioned, can you confirm to the Judges that in fact other
8 than the referendum itself held later in February, there was no separate
9 plebiscite of the Croatian people in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
10 A. No, there wasn't.
11 Q. Moving on, sir, to -- directing your attention to the 2nd of
12 February, 1992, at a meeting in Siroki Brijeg. Can you briefly tell the
13 Judges how that meeting came about and what happened at that meeting.
14 A. First of all, that meeting was called by people from Zagreb, the
15 HDZ of the Republic of Croatia, and they informed me, as they did
16 everybody else, that on the 2nd of February in Siroki Brijeg there would
17 be a meeting of the Main Board and all the officials of the HDZ. Of
18 course, that was an act of coercion, because I was still the legal
19 president, and that meeting could have only been convened by the
20 Presidency team of the Croatian Democratic Union of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
21 But since it was supposed to discuss key issues of support or opposition
22 to the referendum, despite this demeaning position, I did go down there.
23 And a delegation of the HDZ arrived from Croatia, which included Stjepan
24 Mesic, Vice Vukojevic, and Perica Juric, all three men highly placed
25 within the HDZ of Croatia.
1 I chaired the meeting, presided over it, and with me was Mate
2 Boban, and for the most part all the representatives of the HDZ from all
3 over Bosnia-Herzegovina were present despite the fact that the situation
4 on the ground was very difficult at the time. The roads were blocked; you
5 couldn't move along them. But I assume that everybody felt
6 responsibility, and so they came to the meeting somehow.
7 First of all, the first item on the agenda was the political
8 situation in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and of course many people asked to take
9 the floor, and each of them presented their own vision of the development
10 of the situation. However, I have to say that most people were quite
11 reasonable, and that in the morning session, while everybody was rallied
12 together there, they lent their support to me. It was an absolute
13 majority support. However, then certain speakers began to take the floor
14 who did not deal with the political situation but who were personally --
15 who personally spoke against me. At the time, I represented a great
16 danger, you know, because I was the president of the Presidency as a
17 legitimate body, and the situation became more complicated, and later on
18 we were to learn that the delegation from Zagreb had an assignment to
19 replace me. However, one of their members, he was to say this later on,
20 when he saw the support I enjoyed of delegates from the ground, that they
21 gave up on that idea.
22 Q. When you refer to this individual that you spoke with, was that
23 Stipe Mesic, the current president of Croatia?
24 A. Yes, that's right.
25 Q. And did Mr. Mesic confirm to you that in fact he had been sent to
1 Siroki Brijeg with the mandate to essentially remove you from office?
2 A. Not in Siroki Brijeg but referral years later at a time when he
3 became in -- went into opposition of that policy, he said, "You know, they
4 sent me there to remove you, to replace you, but when I saw the support
5 you enjoyed, we weren't able to do that."
6 Q. Did you at that meeting ultimately indicate your resignation from
7 the position of party president?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And can you just tell us briefly, then, at what point in the
10 meeting did that occur, and what did you say in regard to your
12 A. Well, I have to say that the meeting was very laborious. It
13 lasted a long time, and it was difficult, and some people from northern
14 Bosnia-Herzegovina left the meeting. They said, "Mr. President, I'm with
15 you, but I have to go to Bosanski, Gradiska, Samac, Bihac, or wherever,
16 Brcko, and I want to get there before nightfall." You must realise that
17 that was the 2nd of February, it was winter, the days were very short.
18 And some strange people started entering the hall. They didn't have any
19 legitimacy. And as the number of legal representatives was reduced and
20 the number of these unknown people increased, the discussion took on
21 evermore aggressive overtones. And they started saying, "Well, we're not
22 going to be under the Turks because of Stjepan Kljuic. We want to go to
23 Croatia." And one of the delegates - unfortunately he's dead now, he was
24 a doctor - but he said it was all our people's dream to be in Croatia.
25 Otherwise, he lived in the outskirts, the western district -- the western
1 part of Bosnia-Herzegovina. That was a predominantly Croatian area.
2 So people got up. They made a lot of noise. They hurled insults,
3 and so on and so forth. And at one point when the meeting no longer
4 followed a normal course and when personal insults were hurled at me in a
5 completely impermissible manner, I got up and said, "Gentlemen, I'm
6 tendering my resignation. You go your way, I'll go mine, and history will
7 show which of us was right."
8 Then some of my -- some people who were attached to me, like
9 President Mesic, et cetera, they jumped up. I'm not somebody who changes
10 standpoints easily, who changes my mind. I was lucky enough to have to go
11 to Sarajevo urgently, and when I arrived home two hours later, I had some
12 very difficult health problems, and later on I was to end up in the
13 intensive care unit of the infectious diseases ward in Sarajevo.
14 Now, why did I tender my resignation? Apart from the uncivilised
15 behaviour and the provocations hurled at me, I knew that the statute that
16 we had enabled me to carry on as the president for some time. It said the
17 "outgoing president." That was the term used. So nobody could replace me
18 until a convention was held, a party convention. And I thought, Well, I'm
19 going to try and bring about a referendum, call a referendum, and if I win
20 then quite normally those who were against the referendum should leave the
21 party. If I lose the referendum, then I'll leave. However, what I didn't
22 know was that upon my return to Sarajevo, I would have a life-threatening
23 health crisis over a period of 11 days. And I must say that none of the
24 people from Zagreb even called up the hospital to see how I was doing.
25 At that time, a man who was otherwise quite friendly towards me
1 and was friendly with Mr. Tudjman, his name was Alois Mock, he was the
2 foreign minister of Austria, he did call up the hospital and said he was
3 ready to send a plane if I needed to be treated in Vienna.
4 Q. Let me ask you, we're going to continue on the referendum, and
5 you've indicated now you were hoping to continue to support the referendum
6 process. In that regard, let me ask you to next look at Exhibit P 00117.
7 This is a meeting of the HDZ of Bosnia-Herzegovina Central Board, a
8 meeting in Livno on the 9th of February, 1992.
9 If you have that, sir, and if I can direct you to look at what I
10 think will be the second page of the document. Did you come to understand
11 there was a discussion of alternative language for the referendum that was
12 being discussed by certain parts of the HDZ at that time?
13 A. May I see page 2, please? This, you see, this other -- second
14 question asked by the referendum was a step further in the destruction of
15 Bosnia-Herzegovina as a state, and apart from that, this question was put
16 forward to the referendum commission, all was done legally, however, they
17 were not abreast of the situation and tabled the proposal outside the
18 deadline that had been set, so that regardless of the contents of that
19 proposal, the referendum commission of Bosnia-Herzegovina didn't take the
20 proposal into account because it came in too late. It came in after the
21 deadline had expired.
22 Q. Okay. We can just take this document briefly, but can you confirm
23 that on page 2 there are two formulas -- two formulations of the
24 referendum question. The second one on the page, the one lower on the
25 page - if the registry can scroll down a bit - is it the second of the two
1 formulations that was the actual language that had been approved by the
2 Assembly of Bosnia-Herzegovina on the ballot?
3 A. Yes, that's right.
4 Q. Then if we go back up the page, was the language at the upper part
5 of the page, was that the alternative language that was endorsed as a
6 result of this meeting in Livno?
7 A. Correct.
8 Q. All right. And before we leave that document, then, if you go on
9 over to another page, there is a section that says: "The resignation of
10 Stjepan Kljuic." If you can find that.
11 And do you see there it says: "Mate Boban, presiding, explained
12 that the resignation of President Stjepan Kljuic would not be a topic of
13 discussion, because there would be a special meeting on this subject."
14 Now, would there in fact be --
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Would there in fact be not -- not -- I'll come to this in a few
17 minutes, but would there be a later meeting at which your resignation was
18 discussed or dealt with?
19 A. Quite obviously Boban knew the statute of the HDZ very well.
20 However, that convention was never actually held.
21 Q. Now, did you find around this time, sir, that among the Croat
22 people in -- Croatian people in Bosnia-Herzegovina there was then some
23 confusion over what their position or what their vote should be on the
24 referendum in February, 1992?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Could I ask you to look at Exhibit P 00118. Perhaps as an example
2 of that. If you can look at that for a moment, please. And can you tell
3 the Judges what was the -- what was the discussion at the time, or the
4 controversy or the debate, about whether the Croatian people should
5 support the referendum, or vote, or not?
6 A. Well, refusal to accept it without question, the referendum
7 question that was adopted by the Assembly of Bosnia-Herzegovina in which
8 there was active participation from the Croatian representatives as well,
9 and subsequently the emergence of the Livno issue led to confusion among
10 the people. And this was a small organisation in Visoko. Obviously it
11 didn't have any strong contacts, so they wrote a letter and asked what the
12 position was, to have somebody finally explain to them how they should
13 vote at the referendum.
14 Q. Now, if I can next ask you to look at Exhibit 122, or P 00122.
15 Can you tell us, sir, that around this time, as you were recovering from
16 your illness, did you have occasion to write a letter to President
18 A. Of course. Since I survived and when I was able to write with my
19 own hand, I sat down and wrote a letter to President Tudjman.
20 Q. And is Exhibit P 00122 a copy of that letter, sir?
21 A. What I've seen so far, yes, it is.
22 Q. All right. Anything that you -- when you have a chance to look
23 further at the letter, anything that you want to comment on about the text
24 of the letter, you can do so concisely, please.
25 A. Would you scroll up, please. I think the letter was written in a
1 very reasonable tone, and at the end, in order to dispel any fears, we
2 asked that the Croatian people as a constitutive people of republican
3 government should have parity representation like all the other people.
4 And this was the first time that we were asking this - and I asked for it
5 in the Bosnian parliament - that a house of nations be introduced as a
6 body which would have the right to veto any legal decisions if they
7 jeopardise the vital interests of any one of the peoples. And that same
8 body exists today in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
9 Q. Sir, can you tell the Judges, did you receive any reply from
10 Mr. Tudjman or anyone on his behalf to your letter?
11 A. No, I did not.
12 Q. If I could next ask you to go to, or to be shown, please, Exhibit
13 P 09616, which in the bundle skips down several documents. 9616.
14 When you have a chance to see that, sir, can you confirm that this
15 is the record of a meeting of the Presidency of the HDZ of
16 Bosnia-Herzegovina on the 27th of February, 1992.
17 A. Could you scroll down, please. I didn't attend that meeting, but
18 I do remember the statement from it, and it was this confusion among the
19 Croats of Bosnia-Herzegovina that led to the fact that the people who
20 decided had to choose, and I must say at the time that I was all in favour
21 of a referendum and that I had the absolute support of the Catholic church
22 in that regard to lobby for it. And that kind of situation made it
23 incumbent upon the HDZ Presidency to state - and that was on the 28th of
24 February, the day of the referendum itself - that the referendum question
25 and the decision on Bosnia-Herzegovina's independence would not preempt a
1 constitutional solution to Bosnia-Herzegovina, which means that they gave
2 up the Livno question, and this enabled -- and also there was a subsequent
3 statement from President Tudjman saying that the Croats should go out to
4 vote on the referendum en masse. And not only did they have the largest
5 percentage for independence, but they went out to vote, and there were 99
6 per cent of the electorate went out to vote, which means that hundreds of
7 thousands of people, Croats working abroad in Germany and Croatia, came to
8 Bosnia-Herzegovina to vote in favour of Bosnia-Herzegovina's independence.
9 Q. And just looking again at the date of the document, sir, dated the
10 27th of February of 1992, can you confirm that that was exactly the day
11 before the first day of voting?
12 A. It says the continuation of the session on the 28th of February in
13 the morning at 8.30 hours. So we must assume that they had met on the
14 27th, weren't able to reach an agreement, and continued in the morning of
15 the 28th at 8.30 and then put out a communique, a statement. That is the
16 day before the referendum.
17 Q. And you may have just said this, sir, but can you confirm, was
18 this then finally the expression or the official statement from the party
19 as to what the position -- or what the Croatian people should do in
20 connection with the referendum?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Now, again before leaving this document, in item number 3 there is
23 again a reference to your circumstance. Excuse me. "Until the competent
24 body of the HDZ resolves the official, legal, and political status of the
25 president of the HDZ of BH, Stjepan Kljuic, his rights and obligations
1 with regard to his authority as the outgoing President of the HDZ of BH
2 are frozen and he has no right to appear in public in the name of the HDZ
3 of BH."
4 A. Well, you see that was a step further. At the previous minutes it
5 said that a convention would be held. Now they can see that that wasn't
6 feasible, and they prevented me from representing the HDZ of BiH. At the
7 time, I was the party symbol, and I really did take the floor without any
8 pretensions of representing them, but I took part in the struggle to win
9 over the referendum. And I think I succeeded in doing that.
10 Q. All right. Mr. Kljuic, moving on then beyond the referendum,
11 there was also, around this time, a continuation of the Cutileiro peace
12 process, and can I direct your attention briefly to Exhibit P 00123.
13 Can you tell the Judges, please, did your colleague Mr. Markesic
14 write a letter to Stipe Mesic in Zagreb recommending that you be among the
15 delegation to go to the next meeting, the next session of the Cutileiro
16 peace process at the end of that February?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And if you can then -- if we can ask you to look at Exhibit 124.
19 Is that a response from Mr. Mesic dated the 20th of February,
20 1992, indicating essentially that you would not be included in the
21 delegation but the delegation would consist of Mr. Lasic, Mate Boban, and
22 Mr. Stanic?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Was any other explanation ever given to you as to why you were
25 excluded? You still held the position as president of the party, at
1 least officially; is that correct?
2 A. No. But the Secretary-General Markesic managed to have Miro Lasic
3 head the party rather than Mate Boban. This was quite a feat. And this
4 led to their conflict in Lisbon.
5 Q. Conflict between who, sorry?
6 A. Lasic and Boban, because Lasic was a minor personage in that
7 party, and then suddenly he was appointed by Mr. Mesic as head of
9 Q. Did you ever play any role in any of the Cutileiro meetings?
10 A. No.
11 Q. Before leaving this document, sir, can you explain -- give any
12 insight to the Judges as to why did Zagreb have any role in any event in
13 saying what the delegation should be? This is the party of
15 A. Well, that couldn't have happened to me, to have somebody decide
16 in Zagreb, even if his name was Stipe Mesic. But the people who took over
17 the party after me, to them that was quite normal. And it's interesting
18 to note that that particular conflict, whether to listen to Zagreb blindly
19 and or to be independent, that is present, that kind of dilemma, in the
20 HDZ to the present day.
21 Q. If I can next ask you to look at Exhibit 187, P 00187. Just two
22 questions about the Graz, so-called Graz Agreement on the 7th of May,
23 1992. Did you come to know around that time from press reports or what
24 have you that there had allegedly been an agreement between Karadzic and
25 Boban, dividing up a territory in Bosnia-Herzegovina?
1 A. I don't know anything about that agreement. The information that
2 was given out was very meager. Before that, there was some other
3 information to the effect that it was Mr. Manolic who had spoken to
4 Karadzic, but there was already fierce aggression against
5 Bosnia-Herzegovina and our communications were cut off, and a lot of news
6 items were launched tendentiously from all sides. So I don't know whether
7 they actually met or not, or at least I didn't know until later on,
8 through the Tribunal, I saw documents about that meeting.
9 Q. Okay. Before we leave the document, if you can just look at the
10 text of the alleged agreement, and there is a Croatian language -- yes,
11 there it is. Could you just look for a moment, please, at the items
12 numbered 1 and 2.
13 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, if I may at this point just interject.
14 If the gentleman is not aware of the agreement and doesn't know anything
15 about it, now we're asking him to speculate on this document, and so I
16 think that would be improper. Now, perhaps counsel could ask some
17 non-leading questions and maybe through independent knowledge he may have
18 an opinion or may have something to say, but I don't think it's proper for
19 the gentleman to comment on a document which he has not seen and wasn't
20 participated in.
21 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, if I can just state my question then
22 perhaps it will be evident, and of course I will abide by the Chamber's
23 decision in any event. My only question to the witness would be, if he
24 looks at items 1 and 2, are the demarcations indicated there consistent
25 with the various conversations and communications and meetings that he had
1 been involved in with the Serbs over the past 18 months.
2 MR. KARNAVAS: I withdraw my objection, Your Honour.
3 MR. SCOTT:
4 Q. Sir, when you've had a chance to look at items 1 and 2, can you
5 simply tell us, based on what you've told us over the past day and a half,
6 are these demarcations, not necessarily precisely, but consistent with the
7 types of discussions, meetings, communications that had gone on between
8 the Serb and Croat sides in the past year or so about dividing up
10 A. Well, first of all, it's quite clear that after I left and stopped
11 leading the HDZ, Karadzic did find partners for a dialogue. I have to say
12 that among the majority of the Croatian people this gave rise to
13 resignation, because at that time we were a victim of Milosevic and
15 It's true that military operations had ended in Croatia, but there
16 were new ones going on in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The village of Ravno was
17 liquidated. The incident in Bijeljina had already taken place, and so on.
18 So when aggression was perpetrated against the internationally recognised
19 State of Bosnia-Herzegovina, to negotiate with Karadzic was, first of all,
20 immoral; and secondly, it was politically not viable. None of this was
21 actually implemented. However, it was the policy of the new leadership of
22 the HDZ to which I did not belong.
23 Q. And, sir, if I can just come back to my question before leaving
24 this document. Can you tell us in looking at those paragraphs 1 and 2,
25 again, you've talked this morning about various discussions, Western
1 Herzegovina minus Stolac, Western Herzegovina plus parts of other
2 territory, is that generally consistent with what -- the demarcations that
3 we see in paragraph 1 and 2?
4 A. You can see that in point 1 there's a misunderstanding. Karadzic
5 is asking for the left bank of the river Neretva to be on the Serb side
6 and all of the rest to remain Croat, probably, but the Muslims are not
7 taken into account at all, and that's politically very irrational, not to
8 use heavier expressions. And then the question of Banovina arises,
9 because if Banovina is recognised, Karadzic doesn't have the left bank of
10 the Neretva.
11 These were misunderstandings. They might have reached an
12 agreement elsewhere, but this was a key area. And this was never
13 implemented. It was quite impossible.
14 Q. Sir, finally, then, turning to your final departure from the
15 party, was there a meeting in Bugojno on the 15th of March, 1992?
16 A. Yes, there was. At that meeting, the HDZ suffered the greatest
17 humiliation, the HDZ of Bosnia-Herzegovina. It was led by a man called
18 Krpina. He was a dwarf from Zagreb, and I would have rather handed over
19 the leadership of the HDZ to Mate Boban, because this was insufferable.
20 But they called a meeting in Bugojno, and I didn't attend that meeting.
21 My general secretary, Markesic, went, and there they appointed Professor
22 Milenko Brkic acting president, and that put an end to my term as
23 president of the HDZ.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Praljak, you have just
25 stood up. For what reason, please?
1 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Your Honour, is the witness
2 allowed to insult people, using words such as "dwarf," "third-rate
3 player," and so on? I think the witness should be told to speak to people
4 in a normal manner so that his testimony will make sense here.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. In the French
6 translation the word "dwarf" has been mentioned. You used the word
7 "dwarf" because this man was very small or were you saying that this
8 person wielded no political power? When you call someone a "dwarf," this
9 can be insulting. So why did you use this particular word?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I apologise. It's not because of
11 the objection. I will try to avoid saying things like this. He was not
12 physically a dwarf, just politically. He was a low-level official, let's
14 MR. SCOTT:
15 Q. And that ended your time with the HDZ BiH; is that correct, sir?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Mr. Kljuic, I thank you.
18 MR. SCOTT: I have no further questions, Your Honour. I think I
19 was able to do a bit better than my estimate. Thank you.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you.
21 Before giving the floor to Mr. Ibrisimovic, I have just one
22 additional question I'd like to ask. Witness, you've been examined about
23 your position as president of the Presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and
24 you explained at great lengths why you resigned at one point in time.
25 What I would like to know is this: When you were heading this political
1 party, what were your ties vis-a-vis the HDZ in Zagreb? Were you
2 independent or not?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Politically I was independent. I
4 created the political programme of the HDZ of Bosnia-Herzegovina, but we
5 had many standpoints in common, and I had support in Zagreb. Also, the
6 interests of the Croatian people, both in Herzegovina --
7 Bosnia-Herzegovina and in Croatia were identical. So it was not like a
8 party in some state far away. It was all in a single country, Yugoslavia,
9 but in two different republics.
10 As for the political profile, I was certainly an independent
11 personality, and they couldn't tell me, "Do this," or, "Do that." We
12 Croats from Bosnia-Herzegovina made a great contribution to the defence of
13 the Republic of Croatia. We also provided humanitarian support. I was
14 one of the first to organise a humanitarian aid convoy to Dubrovnik when
15 it was under siege. We sent medicines and so on. So it was very
16 difficult to separate the two, but politically when something had to be
17 represented as in the interest of the Croats of Bosnia and Herzegovina, I
18 remained absolutely autonomous for as long as I was able to.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Mr. Ibrisimovic.
20 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] I think I have only a few
21 questions for Mr. Kljuic, and I think I will give the rest of my time to
22 my colleagues who may need more time and will make better and more
23 rational use of it. I just don't know whether Mr. Scott wishes to tender
24 his documents now or at the end of the session.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Mr. Scott, very briefly,
1 could you give us the exhibit numbers so that everybody knows what we're
2 talking about.
3 MR. SCOTT: Yes, Your Honour. I was intending to do that at the
4 end, but I'll try to do it now. I'm sure my case manager will correct me,
5 I hope, if I'm wrong.
6 Exhibit -- not necessarily in numerical order but I guess the
7 order in which they were used. 0 -- P 09617, P 00015, P 0020 [sic],
8 P 00032 --
9 JUDGE TRECHSEL: One 0 missing in the previous one.
10 MR. SCOTT: My apologies. 00031 -- sorry. That was -- 31 was
11 admitted through Dr. Donia. 00020, then 00032, 00034, 00036, 00041,
12 00042, 00044, 00047, 00048, 00050, 00052, 00056, 00058, 00060, 00072,
13 00078, 00081, 00089, 00110, 00116, 00117, 00118, 00122, 09616, 00123,
14 00124, and I believe 187 has previously been admitted.
15 I may have -- the registry can help me here. I may have omitted
16 to say 09616, and that should be included. And I believe, Your Honour,
17 I've been corrected. My staff has corrected me to say -- I think I said
18 00020. I am told that it should be 00022. Thank you.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. I had noticed that.
20 Registrar, kindly read out the numbers.
21 THE REGISTRAR: The following exhibits are therefore tendered and
22 admitted with today's date: P 09617, P 00015, P 00022 and not 20,
23 P 00032, P 00034, P 00036, P 00041, P 00042, P 00044, P 00047, P 00048,
24 P 00050, P 00052, P 00056, P 00058, P 00060, P 00072, P 00078, P 00081,
25 P 00089, P 00110, P 00116, P 00117, P 00118, P 00122, P 09616, P 00123,
1 and P 00124. That should complete the list, Mr. President. Thank you.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. Mr. Ibrisimovic, you
3 have the floor.
4 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
5 Cross-examination by Mr. Ibrisimovic:
6 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Kljuic, we come from the same part of the
7 country. I've been following your work for the last 50 years, and your
8 positions are quite clear to me.
9 THE INTERPRETER: Could the microphones please be switched on.
10 The interpreters find it difficult to hear.
11 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Up until the aggression --
13 THE INTERPRETER: There seem to be several microphones switched on
14 in the courtroom. If they could be switched off. Thank you.
15 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. I'll repeat my question. Mr. Kljuic, we come from the same part
17 of the country. As I was saying, I followed your political work,
18 cultural, sports contributions in Sarajevo and Bosnia-Herzegovina
19 throughout that time, for 50 years, and I know your position on the
20 character of the war. In Bosnia-Herzegovina it is the JNA aggression on
21 Bosnia-Herzegovina; is that right?
22 A. Yes, and you have a UN Security Council Resolution dated the 15th
23 of May, 757, Resolution 757.
24 Q. And your position is the same, that it is Yugoslavia 's aggression
25 on Bosnia-Herzegovina?
1 A. Yes, absolutely.
2 Q. On a sovereign country?
3 A. Yes. First of all, on the Republic of Croatia and then on
5 THE INTERPRETER: Could the speakers kindly slow down and make
6 pauses between question and answer. Thank you.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There was first an aggression on the
8 Republic of Croatia, then there was an aggression on Bosnia-Herzegovina,
10 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. That position was taken by the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
12 Later on it was the State of Bosnia-Herzegovina when it brought the case
13 to the International Court of Justice in The Hague against Yugoslavia
14 because of what happened in Bosnia-Herzegovina. I'm sure you're aware of
15 that, know all about it.
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. I think that you supported that position, did you not? I don't
18 know whether you were in the Presidency at the time.
19 A. No, not when that was passed, but I whole-heartedly supported it,
21 Q. I also know that the Republic of Croatia brought a lawsuit against
22 Yugoslavia because of what was going on in the Republic of Croatia.
23 A. That was to be expected as well, yes.
24 Q. What I want to say is this: The Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina,
25 later the State of Bosnia-Herzegovina, never brought proceedings to bear
1 against the Republic of Croatia before that same court of law.
2 A. I don't know why they would, because we have to take into account
3 all the events that took place and we would also have to take into account
4 the arguments and the personal dialogues that Mr. Tudjman and
5 Mr. Izetbegovic had, their discussions and conversations.
6 Q. If I understood your answer correctly, then it is your position
7 that no such proceedings should have been initiated; is that right?
8 A. Of course not. Of course proceedings of that kind should not have
9 been initiated in view of everything that the Republic of Croatia did for
10 the citizens of Bosnia-Herzegovina who, during the aggression against
11 [Realtime transcript read in error "upon"] that state were not able to
12 flee to the east, they just fled to the west. And for a long time there
13 were more than a half a million Bosnian-Herzegovinian citizens of
14 different ethnic groups in the republic of Croatia.
15 Q. Thank you. Through your testimony, and I know all this
16 personally, that you, Mr. Kljuic, and I think Judge Antonetti noticed that
17 as well, that they were one -- that you were one of the main protagonists
18 of all these events, political events over the past 20 years in
19 Bosnia-Herzegovina. What I want to say is this: While you worked as
20 president of the HDZ, the two terms of office in the Presidency, you
21 encountered many officials and representatives, high-level representatives
22 of the international community, and also statesmen at the level of
23 Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, or whatever other state, and many people at a
24 local level that held certain functions. Would that be correct?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. What I want to say is that throughout your work you were deeply
2 involved with all the problems and the resolution of the problems that the
3 Croats faced in Bosnia-Herzegovina. You were a very well-informed man,
4 and you were a journalist by profession, were you not?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. In the morning session, you mentioned this, I think, and from the
7 aspects of my client's defence, not only did you never meet him, but you
8 never heard of him either. Would that be right?
9 A. I don't know if I heard of him, but I saw the gentleman the first
10 time in court here.
11 Q. Thank you.
12 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] I have no further questions,
13 Mr. President. Ah, yes, I do. I apologise. Just one correction in the
14 transcript. Page 106, line 8. It should read: "Aggression against
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Theoretically we
17 should have a break in five minutes, but I think it would be better to
18 have the break now, which means that the next Defence counsel can start on
19 his or her cross-examination.
20 We shall have a 20-minute break and resume in 20 minutes' time.
21 --- Recess taken at 3.23 p.m.
22 --- On resuming at 3.46 p.m.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Counsel Karnavas.
24 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you very much, Mr. President and Your
1 Cross-examination by Mr. Karnavas:
2 Q. Mr. Kljuic, good afternoon.
3 A. Good afternoon to you too.
4 Q. First I just want to ask you a question with respect to something
5 that was -- that you said in the Kordic case, and that is that prior to
6 testifying in Kordic that you had been visited by some investigators, that
7 they had taken notes, that you had made a statement, a written statement
8 of which you signed. Is that correct, sir?
9 A. There were a number of investigators. Whoever came to see me, I
10 talked to them.
11 Q. Maybe my question wasn't clear enough. Did you give a written
12 statement, as you've indicated here - and I'm quoting from page 8735 in
13 the Kordic case - you say, "There is a written record of what I signed as
14 my official statement." Do you recall making that statement under oath in
16 A. Yes. Yes.
17 Q. And in fact, in the Kordic case you had indicated to the Defence
18 lawyer that you would be happy -- you would be happy to fax the statement
19 that you had signed as your official statement. Do you recall making a
20 statement of that sort?
21 A. Probably, but it was a long time ago. If I said that, if you have
22 the document saying so, then I did.
23 Q. And I take it you would be equally happy to provide me with a copy
24 as well, would you not?
25 A. I haven't got a statement to that effect among my documents, but
1 if the court does, then, yes.
2 Q. May I ask what happened to that statement that you provided
3 apparently to the investigators, as you seem to indicate here?
4 A. I don't know. You know why? In the Kordic trial, I was
5 subpoenaed as well. I never said anything that the person in question did
6 during the material time in the indictment. All I could have said is how
7 he acted within the party on the basis of the documents presented today.
8 Q. All right. But that wasn't my question, you know. Do you know
9 what happened to the statement? It's either a "yes" or a "no" or "maybe."
10 A. I don't know.
11 Q. Okay. So I guess it's academic for me to try to ask it -- ask you
12 to provide it to me since you don't know where it is.
13 A. I gave the statement, I signed it, but I don't have that
15 Q. And may I ask, before coming here to The Hague, did you look at
16 any documents, your previous statement, anything to refresh your memory in
17 preparation for your testimony?
18 A. Well, in Sarajevo and Zagreb, two books appeared, books of
19 transcripts, and included there are the documents that I participated in.
20 I looked through those, and one such book is in my hotel room.
21 Q. Okay, and when you're talking about the transcripts, you're
22 talking about the presidential transcripts, two volumes that are published
23 and available to the public?
24 A. Yes. They were published conversations between President Tudjman
25 and other officials of the Republic of Croatia, and later on there were
1 many others that I did not take part in.
2 Q. All right. Now, before we get into the topics that I have, I want
3 to pick up from where you left off --
4 THE INTERPRETER: I beg your pardon.
5 MR. KARNAVAS:
6 Q. I want to pick up where we left off with my colleague when he was
7 asking you about Croatia, whether any -- where Croatia was taken to the
8 International Court of Justice for any activities or any crimes it may
9 have committed against Bosnia-Herzegovina, and you said no, and I believe
10 you began talking about all the efforts, the humanitarian efforts that
11 were made by -- by Croatia to assist Bosnia-Herzegovina. Is that correct?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. All right. And I take it you know that Croatia was not only
14 providing humanitarian aid but also absorbed a great many refugees during
15 this period.
16 A. That's what I said as well.
17 Q. And it also provided not just humanitarian aid but also it
18 provided weapons to Muslim fighters; correct?
19 A. Probably, but I know very little about that. What I do know is
20 that there was a general, Mato Sarlija, who quite openly helped and even
21 trained Bosnian forces in the struggle against the Serb aggression.
22 Q. And do you know what period of time are we talking about, about
23 what year?
24 A. That would be 1991, probably, and 1992.
25 Q. All right. Now, since we're on this topic we'll stick with it a
1 little bit. We're talking about how Croatia is providing humanitarian aid
2 and even military assistance to Bosnia-Herzegovina. In 1991, as we well
3 know from some of the documents, Bosnia-Herzegovina was used as a staging
4 ground by the JNA to attack the Republic of Croatia; is that correct?
5 A. Correct.
6 Q. And in fact, yesterday there was a document shown to you where the
7 government -- the -- yeah, the state of -- or the republic of -- it would
8 be a republic at that point, the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina is saying
9 that it is neutral in this sort of conflict; right? They're staying out
10 of it.
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. At that point in time, the republic of -- I guess it would be the
13 Socialist Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina at that time, it was still
14 part of whatever was left of Yugoslavia. Correct, or am I wrong?
15 A. No, it wasn't the Socialist Republic. We took that prefix away,
16 but it was just the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
17 Q. All right. So -- but nonetheless, Bosnia was declaring its
18 neutrality while at the same time allowing its territory to be used by the
19 JNA to attack another country; right? We'll talk about whether they could
20 have done so --
21 A. Well, no, that's not right.
22 Q. All right.
23 A. If you don't understand the situation that we were in, well, we
24 were a country in which there were the largest number of soldiers in the
25 world and where the Yugoslav People's Army ruled. The regular authority
1 in Bosnia-Herzegovina was amputated in a large portion of its territory.
2 The areas from which the Republic of Croatia was shot at was not under the
3 control of the legal authorities.
4 Q. Okay. Let me rephrase my question, and I apologise for being
5 ignorant of the facts, but I understood that it was on territory within
6 the geographical borders of Bosnia-Herzegovina that the JNA - and I
7 believe you called them Chetnik forces - were attacking the Republic of
8 Croatia. Now, that's either a "yes" or a "no" or "I don't know." Which
9 of the three?
10 A. No. I know that that was so. But you must know and realise that
11 within the territory of the Republic of Croatia there was also space and
12 areas from which there was firing at the regular forces of the Republic of
13 Croatia, and that was no precedent. The Serbs did the firing, the JNA did
14 the firing, the Chetniks, Milosevic's forces, Martic's, Karadzic's forces
15 on those free areas of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
16 Q. All right. We're going to be step-by-step.
17 A. Okay.
18 Q. All right. Thank you. And first what I want to confirm from you
19 is the fact that Bosnia-Herzegovina says, "We're neutral," but at the same
20 time, albeit they couldn't do much about it, they said to the JNA,
21 "Izvolite." "Here, you can use the ground, attack the Republic of
22 Croatia," and nothing was done by the government in Sarajevo of which I
23 believe you were a member of, of the Presidency. I guess that's what I'm
24 trying to do, set the ground. And we're going to talk about whether
25 Bosnia and Herzegovina could do something about it. But the bottom line
1 is that the JNA was using what -- territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina to
2 attack Croatia. Isn't that a fact?
3 A. [Interpretation] Sir, it's very difficult for me to talk to you
4 because you don't seem to understand me, and you don't understand the
5 situation either. When we say that Bosnia-Herzegovina proclaimed
6 neutrality in the conflict between the Serb forces and the regular forces
7 of the Republic of Croatia, that means that that was the most we could do
8 in view of the political composition of the leadership of
9 Bosnia-Herzegovina. And not -- and certainly not -- we did not give
10 legitimacy to the JNA forces and the volunteer formations to fire at
11 Croatia. Quite the contrary. We prevented the Croats and Muslims from
12 joining and going to the JNA.
13 You know that Bosnia-Herzegovina at that time still belonged to
14 Yugoslavia and that to sidestep your military service or your -- or
15 joining up the army was a very drastic violation. Hundreds of thousands
16 of young lads of ours fled in the face of the Yugoslav army who wished to
17 mobilise them. So not only did we prevent that from happening as far as
18 we were able to do, but we did not have the means of preventing the
19 shelling of Croatia from the territory and areas which had previously been
20 occupied either by the SDS or the JNA or the volunteer units and
22 Q. We're going to talk about what happened to the arms. We're going
23 to talk about what happened to the TOs, the territorial -- we'll talk
24 about that. But now when you're saying -- you gave us an explanation
25 about this neutrality. Some might say, would they not, that Izetbegovic,
1 who at that time said this is not our war, is on the fence, waiting to see
2 who is going to win, and perhaps hoping or waiting or expecting the JNA to
3 win, in which case he's aligned with them. That was one of the
4 perceptions at the time, was it not, of what Alija Izetbegovic and perhaps
5 those who were in his Presidency were doing? Perhaps present company
7 A. First of all, you have to separate the statement made by Alija
8 Izetbegovic from the activity of the Presidency. Secondly, he did make
9 that statement, and it had very negative repercussions. Not only among
10 the Croatian people but also among a large number of Muslim Bosniaks.
11 There was nothing he could have been waiting to see, because all of Bosnia
12 and Herzegovina was an enormous barracks at the time. However, in spite
13 of what he said, a large number of Muslim Bosniaks were of a different
14 orientation and played an active role in the defence of Croatia. It was
15 not possible to wait and see, because in 1991, we had achieved an
16 agreement in principle with the army that it should respect the civilian
17 authorities. However, you also are a gentleman from the Balkans, so you
18 must know what people say on one day is not binding on anyone in the
19 Balkans. Therefore, the Serbs, together with the JNA, continued shooting
20 on Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, and firing, but they were doing so
22 Q. All right. Now, let's stick with this just a little bit, because
23 we're getting away from my -- my outline for your cross, but when -- when
24 Izetbegovic is saying this, this is not our war, when the JNA is being --
25 is using Bosnia-Herzegovina territory to launch attacks against Croatia,
1 do you think that those actions might instil fear in the Croats that are
2 living in Bosnia-Herzegovina that perhaps this particular government in
3 Sarajevo is not necessarily looking after their best interests? Maybe
4 they can't, but they certainly are not looking after their best interests.
5 A. First of all, the government in Sarajevo consisted of
6 representatives of all three nations, including the Croats. Secondly, we
7 were in charge of the defence department. A Croat was the minister of
8 defence in Bosnia-Herzegovina. But everything was possible in peacetime.
9 We were unable to stand up to the army because of a mistake made by the
10 Communists of Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1989 and 1990.
11 I tried to explain yesterday how Josip Broz had two military
12 formations. One was a professional armed force with its regular
13 composition and young conscripts, whereas the other was the Territorial
14 Defence. The Communists of Bosnia and Herzegovina, just like the ones in
15 Croatia, agreed for the weapons of the Territorial Defence to be
16 confiscated, thereby rendering impossible any kind of resistance to the
17 aggressor. The Slovenes in whose national tradition there is very little
18 of war did not give up their weapons, and they managed to defend
19 themselves very quickly.
20 So it's not true that this government which included Croats did
21 nothing to oppose the Serb aggression. We asked for international
22 protection, especially later on when Bosnia and Herzegovina was received
23 into the United Nations together with Slovenia and Croatia. But there was
24 very little objective power to stand up to the aggression.
25 Q. Okay. I'm going to be cutting you off a little bit. I let you go
1 on --
2 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, for Mr. Karnavas.
3 MR. KARNAVAS:
4 Q. I let you go on a little bit, but I'll be cutting you off a little
5 bit so we can stay on schedule, because we'll here two weeks at this rate.
6 I asked you about how the Croats might have felt in light of the
7 inaction of the government in Sarajevo. You're telling me they were doing
8 something. I suspect the folks in Ravno that were massacred, and their
9 families, didn't feel that way, and especially didn't feel particularly
10 welcome by the Izetbegovic crew when Izetbegovic stands up and says, "This
11 is not our war." And I'm talking about perceptions. I'm not talking
12 about the government could do. I'm talking about what people are
13 perceiving, which might be a reason why some folks are beginning to think
14 that maybe they should arm themselves.
15 A. Excellent. It's correct that Izetbegovic made more than one
16 statement and that his behaviour at that point was perhaps not entirely
17 correct, but what were we to do; quarrel with Izetbegovic? You should
18 know what the context was and in what conditions the people were who were
19 exposed to Serbian aggression. A third of Croatia had fallen and no one
20 could say anything.
21 In that are period, leaving aside what Izetbegovic said, the
22 Muslim people felt solidarity with the Croats and wherever there were
23 Croats living together with Muslims where the Muslims were in a majority,
24 there were no problems at that stage. The problems arose only later.
25 Q. All right. Now, yesterday you were shown a document by the
1 Prosecutor. I believe it was 00060, and that's the document where
2 actually the word "neutrality" appeared. And if I could direct your
3 attention to paragraph 5. It's on page 2, and I'll just read it. It's
4 very short. It says here: "The decision of the Presidency of
5 Bosnia-Herzegovina about the neutrality of Bosnia and Herzegovina is
6 endorsed, but - but - with the condition that Bosnia-Herzegovina will not
7 nor will it be a military training ground for continued aggression."
8 Now, I take it, sir, that was perceived at the time -- or
9 Bosnia-Herzegovina was perceived to be at the time a military training
10 ground for continued aggression; right? That was what was perceived by
11 the HDZ. And we're talking about October 8, 1991, signed by none other
12 than you yourself as the president of the BH HDZ. So those were your
13 sentiments at the time, were they not?
14 A. Yes. Yes.
15 Q. Okay. Now, before we get into more documents, first I want to
16 cover some of your background a little bit because I don't think we have a
17 full background. We talked a little about your education. You indicated
18 some time in Zagreb. I believe it was philosophy, literature. And then I
19 believe you continued your education in Sarajevo. Is that correct?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And at some point you became a journalist by profession.
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Now, that's a pretty wide profession. That's like saying a
24 lawyer. You could be a lawyer of a variety of things, tax law, criminal
25 law, whatever. Could you tell us, what exactly were you covering? What
1 was your beat?
2 A. First, I was dealing in culture in Oslobodjenje in '64, so the
3 arts. After that, very soon after my ambition to write about politics, I
4 was moved to the sports page. Then I was dismissed from Oslobodjenje, and
5 for a while I was unemployed. Then I got a job in the Zagreb paper
6 Vjesnik, which is the most eminent newspaper printed in the Latin alphabet
7 in the former Yugoslavia, and I became a political journalist.
8 Q. Okay.
9 A. This lasted for a relatively short time, and then I was suspended.
10 After a session of the Central Committee of the Communist Party in
11 Karadjordjevo on the 21st of December, 1971. The entire party leadership
12 of the League of Communists of Croatia was replaced but so was the
13 leadership in the newspaper company Vjesnik. For a while I composed
14 crossword puzzles, of course anonymously, and then I wrote about sport and
15 the arts and other things.
16 Q. Okay. Now, if -- so primarily you were a sports writer, dabbled
17 a little bit in political writing, but of course during the period that
18 was impermissible, which is why they shifted you around. And I take it
19 when the war -- or when the system is changing and you're going into a new
20 -- the free elections are coming up, that's where you're found. You're
21 found with that sort of experience as a journalist; right?
22 A. Just before the democratic elections, I was rehabilitated. So in
23 1990 I was writing about politics again.
24 Q. Now, when you say "rehabilitated," you indicated yesterday you
25 were a dissident. Could you please tell us how much -- were you ever put
1 in prison for your political beliefs as a dissident?
2 A. No, I wasn't.
3 Q. Okay. Well, could you tell us, what kind of a dissident were you?
4 You say political dissident, but I mean what -- given the -- the
5 government at the time when you were "a dissident," as I understand it a
6 couple of topics were taboo. One was politics. The other was anything
7 that had to do with nationalism. So ...
8 A. First of all, not all those who were in prison were dissidents.
9 There were various misfortunes. I was never even before a misdemeanour
10 judge because I have obeyed the law all my life. I've always been law
11 abiding. It's hard to explain what sort of dissident I was. I can try to
12 explain as follows: In 1970 I was awarded Journalist of the Year award in
13 the morning, and then when a high-ranking party official learned that the
14 prize had been awarded to me, he abolished the prize. At 12.00 noon, the
15 secretary of the Journalists' Association called me up and said Get
16 dressed up. Well, I was always nicely dressed anyway, but he said get
17 dressed up and you will be awarded a prize in the evening, and then at
18 4.00 p.m. he calls me up and says, Don't bother to come, your prize has
19 been abolished. Then, for example, in professional promotion --
20 Q. Let me stop you here for a second. This scenario could have been
21 because you wrote a bad review on a sports event too. My point being that
22 you kept saying yesterday that you were this well known dissident,
23 dissident, dissident. We come to find out now that perhaps other than
24 what you're telling us, we have no proof that you were indeed a dissident
25 of some prominence in Bosnia-Herzegovina at the time of the former
2 A. Well, I'm not here to prove whether I was a dissident or not. I
3 know what I was and I know how my career was denied. But you should know
4 that in 1984, I was awarded the main journalistic prize in
5 Bosnia-Herzegovina for writing about literature. I don't think my career
6 as a journalist has anything to do with this trial.
7 Q. Well, we're going to go step-by-step. 1990, you've been -- you've
8 been cleared. Now you're back in politics, or you're writing about
9 politics. Suffice it to say, when the HDZ is being formed, you have no
10 practical experience to speak of in politics. That doesn't mean that
11 you're not a charismatic politician capable of organising and perhaps
12 designing a platform, but you have no practical experience to speak of; is
13 that correct?
14 A. No. You're wrong. I had an enormous amount of political
16 Q. Okay. And that would be as a dissident?
17 A. Absolutely. But I was never a prisoner.
18 Q. Okay. But now this -- and I don't want to spend too much time on
19 this dissident issue, but was this a party of dissidents that you had
20 organised, with cells and -- I'm just asking the question, sir.
21 JUDGE PRANDLER: Mr. Karnavas, I would like to ask you be so kind
22 to slow down a bit. Thank you very much.
23 MR. KARNAVAS: I apologise. I apologise, Your Honour.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Please, if you write an article
25 saying that in Sarajevo the main streets are called after Serb rebels and
1 soldiers and the street named after the main Bosnian King Tvrtko is only a
2 few hundred metres long --
3 MR. KARNAVAS:
4 Q. Excuse me, sir. I don't have time for these discourse. I'm just
5 asking you a very basic question. Could you --
6 A. I have even less, sir.
7 Q. Okay. Good. We're going to try to get you home tomorrow then.
8 So my question is --
9 A. I'll certainly come -- go home the day after tomorrow. You know
11 Q. Of course. Of course you will. But I was hoping that we would
12 finish the cross-examination.
13 A. Thank you.
14 Q. And I can't keep anybody over here anyway, so don't worry about
15 what I say.
16 A. No, I'm not worried. I've never been worried in my life, sir.
17 Q. Now, did you belong --
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, please try to answer
19 the question. You might not like the questions that are put to you, but
20 the cross-examination is conducted in such a way that Defence counsel is
21 entitled to ask you any question he or she likes. But please calm down,
22 because --
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. I'm a very stable personality.
24 I'm not excited at all.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So please proceed,
1 Mr. Karnavas.
2 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Mr. President. Thank you.
3 Q. All right. Well, let's -- let's move on. With the -- at some
4 point political parties are allowed to be formed in the former Yugoslavia;
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. All right. And what is the period again, just to refresh our
8 memory? Starting what period?
9 A. That was in the beginning of 1990, and there were some parties
10 that were initiated towards the end of 1989.
11 Q. That's correct. Now -- and it's at that point in time when you
12 begin to get involved formally, at least, in politics. Formally and
13 openly as well.
14 A. I started getting involved in politics formally and openly when
15 the possibilities were opened for that.
16 Q. And you indicated to us that you were one of the founding members
17 of HDZ.
18 A. Yes. Bosnia-Herzegovina.
19 Q. Bosnia-Herzegovina. Now, as I understand it, when -- when HDZ of
20 Bosnia-Herzegovina was founded, the former Yugoslavia was still intact.
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And so that's why one could look at HDZ Croatia and look at the
23 HDZ Bosnia and they would see that they would be associated. One may be
24 the parent, the other one the child, or brother and sister, however you
25 want to look at it.
1 A. Sisters, sisters.
2 Q. Okay. Sister. And so you saw yourself -- well, you were indeed
3 the president of this -- of HDZ in Bosnia, while at the same time the late
4 President Tudjman was the president of HDZ in Croatia; is that correct?
5 A. Yes, but I was president from the 16th of September, 1990.
6 Q. Okay. Now, just to make sure that we understand, at least while
7 you were president, during your tenure, you were not receiving orders from
9 A. No. We had meetings. What the HDZ of Bosnia and Herzegovina and
10 the HDZ of Croatia had in common we talked about. As for representing the
11 Croats in the official talks among the presidents of the republics,
12 President Tudjman was looking after us because Mr. Izetbegovic was
13 representing Bosnia-Herzegovina.
14 Q. All right. Now, I just want to stay with that a little bit, okay?
15 You said, you know, whatever you had in common. "Common" was, I guess,
16 the Croatian people and their interests; right? That's what the two
17 parties had in common.
18 A. Yes, and a number of other elements; cooperation, gathering the
19 diaspora, cultural cooperation, and so on.
20 Q. And when you say "gathering the diaspora," as I understand it, and
21 maybe I'm wrong, a Croat in Cleveland, Ohio, is just as good a Croat as if
22 he's in Zagreb or in Sarajevo or Mostar; right?
23 A. Of course. But when we talk about the diaspora, you have to know
24 that there were far more Croats in the diaspora who originated from Bosnia
25 and Herzegovina than there were from any other part of Croatia.
1 Q. All right. But I guess the point I'm trying to drive at is that
2 these were considered just as much Croats. They weren't considered, well,
3 they're half Croats because they're in the diaspora. They were considered
4 Croats; right?
5 A. On the contrary.
6 Q. Right. And this was a rather historic period for Croatia as well
7 as for Bosnia-Herzegovina, but particularly for Croatia because for the
8 first time now, at least in the last 50 years, they can have -- you know,
9 they can be outside of the former Yugoslavia and within the borders of a
10 Republic of Croatia. Correct?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. All right. And I take it as the war was looming, and then
13 throughout the war, the Croats, both in Croatia and in Bosnia-Herzegovina,
14 relied heavily on the diaspora Croats for contributions, for assistance.
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Okay. Now, at some point, as I understand it, Croatia, the
17 Republic of Croatia, allows Croats of Bosnia-Herzegovina to also have
18 passports and become citizens of -- of Croatia; is that correct?
19 A. They had dual nationality, yes.
20 Q. Okay. And was that also provided to Muslims at the time? Not
21 all, but --
22 A. In part, yes. Today there are still many Bosniak Muslims who hold
23 Croatian passports.
24 Q. And there's nothing unusual or nefarious about the fact that
25 Croatia is allowing Croats in the diaspora or Croats in Bosnia-Herzegovina
1 to have dual citizenship?
2 A. No. There's more than one European country - for example, Italy -
3 that follows the same principle.
4 Q. All right. Now, I want to talk a little bit about the Croats of
5 Bosnia-Herzegovina. Not just them but also the other two nations that
6 comprise members of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
7 Where I come from, you would just be a citizen. You're a citizen
8 of the United States, maybe a resident of Alaska. But in -- that's not
9 the case in -- that wasn't the case, and it's still not the case in Bosnia
10 where you had three different nations recognised within the constitution;
11 is that correct?
12 A. Of course. It's a very important difference.
13 Q. And could you please, sir -- and I know you're not a jurist, by
14 your own admission, and perhaps you're better off not being one, but could
15 you please tell us, what is that difference as you understand it?
16 A. First of all, you should know how the USA developed historically.
17 They have only had a state for a little more than 200 years. Secondly,
18 that state neutralised its indigenous people politically, and it became a
19 state after immigrants arrived from various parts of the world. And you
20 know that it wasn't clear until after the war what language would be
21 official, and then a referendum was held and the English language --
22 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... tell me about the three
23 constituent nations of Bosnia. Why do you have nations as opposed to just
24 Bosnians? It's like one word; Bosnians, it covers everybody that lives in
25 Bosnia-Herzegovina. Make it easier. Why don't you have that? Instead
1 you have, in the constitution, three constituent nations.
2 A. Unlike the USA, which established a nation in the way we have
3 described, before nations were formed in the European sense there were
4 religious communities in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Up to 1964 --
5 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters note we did not hear the date.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, until the schism between the
7 Catholic and Orthodox churches, there were Christians in Bosnia. Later
8 they divided into the Orthodox and Catholics, and various other sects
9 arrived and other movements.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a minute, please. I've
11 interrupted because I would like you to speak more slowly, both of you,
12 and you overlap, and the French and the English don't tally. So please
13 speak more slowly. This may ease the tension.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As I was saying, upon the Turkish
15 occupation in 1064, or 1463, regardless of the religion that prevailed
16 before, they were not only Orthodox and Catholic, there were other sects,
17 they espoused Islam, and with the subsequent historical events, three
18 groups were formed as communities on a religious basis.
19 In the 16th century, when Filip IV expelled the Jews from Spain,
20 you had Jews arriving into Bosnia-Herzegovina, and that was the first time
21 that four large monotheistic religions came into existence. With the
22 development of the bourgeois classes in Europe, and in the Balkans that
23 was little late, it lagged behind Europe, but the nations were formed. As
24 the Serbs and Croats were the first to form their own nations and the Jews
25 remained in the state they had been, then there was a group of people that
1 were most numerous in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and they were of the Islamic
2 faith. The political emergence of these religious communities into
3 national or -- communities were -- occurred in '68 and legalised in the
4 population census in '71.
5 MR. KARNAVAS:
6 Q. Okay. So this brings us to date.
7 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
8 MR. KARNAVAS:
9 Q. This brings us to date. Now, I take it -- you indicated to us the
10 percentages. If I recall, it was something like 44 per cent were the
11 Muslims that are today called Bosniaks --
12 A. 43.4 per cent.
13 Q. Excuse me. And then it was 31 -- or why don't you just tell me.
14 A. 43.6 per cent Muslims who are Bosniaks today. 31 per cent Serbs,
15 17.4 per cent Croats, and others who were either Yugoslavs, that was this
16 post-war creation, or the members of other ethnic groups such as
17 Montenegrins, Albanians, Slovenians, Hungarians, and so on.
18 Q. Right. And I take it for the Croats who were only 17.4, it was
19 pretty important for them to make sure that they just didn't lose their --
20 their status as a nation; correct?
21 A. Absolutely correct.
22 Q. All right. And of course if you were to have a government, a
23 democratic government where you would have, say, one person, one vote,
24 everybody's equal, everybody gets one vote, one could say, at least in
25 theory under that particular system, the Croats would be the losers, being
1 17.4. Correct?
2 A. You can't put it that way because --
3 Q. We're going to build on it. We're going to build on it
4 step-by-step. So first --
5 A. Well, all right, but --
6 Q. If I can get my answer, and then we can move. We'll move on from
8 A. Theoretically speaking you can put it the way you've just said,
9 but I have to make you aware of one particular fact that you don't seem to
10 know about. It was agreed in the first government that capital decisions
11 must be taken by consensus on the part of all those present.
12 Q. All right. Now -- but getting back to what I was saying, one
13 person, one vote would not guarantee the -- the vital national interest of
14 the Croatian people; correct?
15 A. Of course not.
16 Q. And that had been a question that had been looming in the air
17 among the Croats of Bosnia-Herzegovina. That was a concern, was it not?
18 A. During the one-party system, there was no concern at all because
19 the executive organs of power and authority were elected by the party
21 Q. You're talking about back in the former Yugoslavia days.
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. All right. Where you could be a Montenegrin and just have -- just
24 -- you know, with 3 per cent of the population, and still --
25 A. And Prime Minister in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
1 Q. Exactly. Now -- but my question is this: Now you're moving into
2 a different era. You're moving into a different era with
3 Bosnia-Herzegovina wanting to declare itself independent; right?
4 A. Yes. Yes.
5 Q. We already know from what you told us that the Serb, they decided
6 to have a plebiscite, and based on their wishes, they wanted to stay
7 within Yugoslavia; correct?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. The Croats, if I could say -- if I could speak for them, under no
10 circumstances wanted to be in -- wanted to be in --
11 A. No, don't speak for them.
12 Q. They didn't want to be in Yugoslavia; is that correct?
13 A. Well, of course.
14 Q. All right. And -- and what about the Muslims of
15 Bosnia-Herzegovina? Did they have a clear position from the very first
16 day, or did it sort of fluctuate and eventually gravitate in one
18 A. The Muslims did not have a clear position from the very first day.
19 What they wanted was to remain in Yugoslavia, first and foremost. And
20 that was because, among other things, because there were Muslims in other
21 republics; Montenegro, Serbia, Macedonia. However, as events developed
22 and as the aggression burgeoned and became ever more brutal, the Muslims
23 ultimately opted for an independent Bosnia-Herzegovina, and this was
24 reflected in the referendum of the 29th of February, 1992.
25 Q. All right. Now, that's the referendum where -- where there was
1 that famous question that came into -- into question among the Croats.
2 There were two factions; right? There was one faction that --
3 A. That's putting it mildly.
4 Q. Okay. Well, I'm glad I'm putting it mildly for your amusement,
5 because at the time, I take it, there was a rather important event,
6 particularly given that members of the HDZ thought that you were letting
7 them down, that you were not supporting the appropriate question which
8 would guarantee their vital national interests. That was their
9 perception. Not mine, theirs.
10 A. They were not right on that score, because, before that, there was
11 a great test for us Croats, and it was this: In the preparation for the
12 democratic elections, the Serbs came out with a proposal according to
13 which there should be three members of the Presidency who would be
14 Muslims, two Presidency members would be Serbs, one Presidency member
15 would be a Croat, and one would be the representative of the other
17 Q. Let me stop you here, because I'm not -- I'm not here to talk
18 about what the Serbs were up to. We're here to discuss about what the
19 Croats felt regarding the question that was ultimately put, and I put to
20 you, sir -- perhaps you can correct me, but I put to you that there was a
21 large faction in the HDZ which felt that you, you personally as president
22 of the HDZ were not looking after the vital national interest of the Croat
23 -- of the Croats of Bosnia-Herzegovina because you were backing the
24 question, the referendum question that was preferred by Izetbegovic and
25 company as opposed to the question that they were proposing which they
1 felt was more appropriate to ensure that 17.4 per cent of Croats in
2 Bosnia-Herzegovina would be protected, their vital national interests
3 would be protected. Isn't that a fact, sir?
4 A. First of all, none of what you said is correct. I have tried to
5 explain to you how I represented Croatian interests when, during the
6 communist regime, I entered the Assembly of Bosnia-Herzegovina and
7 Izetbegovic and Karadzic were there and the existing regime, the regime
8 that be. And the proposal to elect 3, 2, 1, plus 1, I stood up and said
9 we Croats would never accept that. And --
10 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
11 A. Just take it slowly.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. President, please allow me to
13 finish. You know what? I'm an amateur here compared to the professional
14 teams working here.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Karnavas. Allow the
16 witness to finish, because your question is a very interesting one.
17 MR. KARNAVAS: I will. I will --
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] But it require -- it brings to
19 mind -- to the witness's mind developments. So let him reply. Your
20 question was a long one, and it deserves having a comprehensive answer
21 from the witness.
22 So go ahead, please, sir.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As I was saying, when the proposal
24 was made to have an asymmetric representation in the Presidency without
25 parity, I was the person who blocked that. I didn't ask the base, I
1 didn't refer to Zagreb either. And the fact that two Serbs, two Croats
2 and two Bosniaks -- or, rather, Muslims, plus one other, that that was the
3 schematic, was to defend Croatian constitutionality and equality in the
4 top echelons of the government. The fact that you're saying I didn't take
5 into account the vital interests of the Croatian people, that's something
6 I'm hearing for the first time. I had --
7 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm sorry. Perhaps I can help you understand
8 because I think really there is a misunderstanding now. Mr. Karnavas was
9 not suggesting any such thing to you. He was only asking whether there
10 was a part of the Croats who thought in that way. Maybe wrongly. But the
11 question to you was were there some Croats who thought that you did not
12 properly defend their interests, and that's the question you are invited
13 to answer.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, possibly there were such
15 people, and you were able to see on the basis of the documents that they
16 even made their views felt in party meetings, but the question asked at
17 the referendum was not Izetbegovic's question. It was a question relating
18 to the independence of Bosnia-Herzegovina without any additional
19 cantonisation. Additional cantonisation was the product of negotiations
20 that were taking place behind my back by certain HDZ representatives with
22 MR. KARNAVAS:
23 Q. All right.
24 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, Mr. Karnavas.
25 MR. KARNAVAS:
1 Q. Okay. Perhaps it might help a little bit if we look at the two
2 questions side by side. All right? And by the way, I'm just expressing
3 what the perceived viewpoint was, not my personal viewpoint. I wasn't
4 there, I couldn't vote, nor do I have a say in any of it. If we could
5 look at I believe it's 00117. That was the Prosecution's document, and
6 this was shown to you, sir, earlier. It would be on page 2. It's dated
7 9, February, 1992. And this is in regards to a meeting that took place in
8 Livno that -- I understand, sir, you were not present in Livno; is that
10 A. No.
11 Q. Okay. But nonetheless, you are familiar with that particular
12 meeting that took place there?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And I take it, sir, you being the president of the HDZ at that
15 time -- or were you? Were you still the president? I know you had
16 resigned, but were you still receiving -- this is 9 February, 1992. Were
17 you still the president of the HDZ at that -- at that point in time?
18 A. With the status of outgoing.
19 Q. Okay. With the status of outgoing, but nonetheless you -- and I
20 take it that you had in fact at the time, you had seen the record from
21 this particular meeting that took place on 9 February, 1992. It was the
22 BH HDZ Central Board. You've had a chance to look at the minutes of the
23 meeting; correct?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And I'm saying not today but back then you had an opportunity to
1 look them over. As president of the party, obviously you must have been
2 curious to know what your colleagues thought and the discussion that took
3 place concerning this very vital issue that affected not just the Croats
4 but also the future of Bosnia-Herzegovina; correct?
5 A. Please. I didn't see the detailed contents, but there was a news
6 item with the following formulation, put that way. Now, you either
7 happened to forget something when I spoke about the referendum questions,
8 the referendum commission of Bosnia-Herzegovina. The question was adopted
9 first at the government of Bosnia-Herzegovina where the Croatian ministers
10 took part, and then subsequently in the Assembly of Bosnia-Herzegovina in
11 which our representatives participated, which means that that formulation
12 was a legal one and it was passed down the institutions of the State of
14 The one that appears -- the formulation that appears in Livno --
15 Q. Sir, I don't mean to cut you off, I certainly want you to give
16 your full answers, but if you could just work with me a little bit, okay?
17 I'm not questioning how -- my question doesn't go to how the first
18 question was formulated or whether it was proper or improper. What I'm
19 saying -- what I'm asking you is you as president of the HDZ at the time
20 would have looked at the record and would have reviewed what your
21 colleagues were saying with respect to the two options that were on the
22 table. Option one, the one that was going to -- that was being proposed.
23 Option two, the one that the Croats within the HDZ that were in a
24 different faction than you were promoting at the time; correct?
25 A. Please, none of them belonged to me personally as Stjepan Kljuic.
1 The first variant was a proposal by the government, adopted by the
2 Assembly, where not a single Croatian representative voted against that
3 formulation. It was adopted and then sent on to the referendum
5 Q. Okay. Sir, again --
6 A. Now, in Livno --
7 Q. We're going to talk about what happened in Livno. What I want
8 know, sir, is did you in fact review the record of the meeting that took
9 place in Livno on 9 February, 1992? It's a yes or no answer. It could
10 be, "I don't remember."
11 A. No, I did not, because I didn't receive it. They didn't treat me
12 as president any more.
13 Q. Okay. So are you suggesting, sir, as of 9 February, 1992, you
14 were not receiving any documents from the HDZ? Can I conclude that from
15 your statement, from your previous answer?
16 A. As of the 9th of February, I never again received a single
18 Q. All right. And I take it as you stand here today -- well, let's
19 me -- let me just rephrase that. As you stand here today, did you have a
20 chance to review the record at some other point, to at least see what the
21 discussion was all about?
22 A. Well, that formulation from Livno, known as the Livno question --
23 Q. Sir --
24 A. -- was later on --
25 Q. I'm going to stop you again.
1 A. -- brought to light --
2 Q. Have you looked at the record? I don't mean to be aggressive and
3 I certainly don't mean to be disrespectful. I'm just asking you at some
4 point in time, after the Livno meeting, have you looked at the record to
5 see what your colleagues were saying, what the discussion was about?
6 That's what I'm asking. It's a "yes," "no," "I don't remember." Three
7 options. That's the universe of choices.
8 A. I didn't see the records but I did see the formulation.
9 Q. Did you ever review the discussion, because the minutes also have
10 rather interesting presentations by the various folks that were there,
11 giving their interpretations and giving their opinions with respect to the
12 questions. Did you ever review that as either president or outgoing
13 president of HDZ or someone who was interested in what was -- you know, in
14 this particular discussion?
15 A. No, I did not.
16 Q. Okay. If we could just look at -- and thank you very much for
17 that answer. If we could look at 117. I don't know if -- let's see --
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Counsel Karnavas, we're going to
19 have to stop at 5.00 because the Judges have asked for that. We'll have
20 15 minutes more tomorrow morning. So instead of finishing at 5.15
21 tomorrow, we'll be finishing at 5.30, but please see if you can finish by
22 5.00 today.
23 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you for the warning for tomorrow, Your
24 Honour. Well, this discussion is going to take a little bit more than
25 five minutes. We can try to just touch on it, because I don't like to
1 waste any time, so -- but thank you very much. I will just -- I'll try to
2 be pithy in my questions.
3 Q. Do you see that document, sir? You see the two questions that are
4 on page 2 of this particular document? It's 00117.
5 A. All I can see is the Livno question.
6 Q. Okay. If you go down the page, if you scroll down the page and if
7 it's not possible, perhaps we can give you a Croat version.
8 A. Yes, I can see it now, yes.
9 Q. Now, I'm going to read them separately, separately just so -- and
10 then we can kind of deconstruct them, if you will, and I know that you're
11 not a jurist. The one -- the first one, that is the one that's being
12 proposed at Livno, says, "Are you in favour of a sovereign and independent
13 Bosnia-Herzegovina, a joint state of the constitutive and sovereign
14 Croatian, Muslim, and Serbian people in their ethnic areas," and in
15 parentheses "as cantons?" with a question mark.
16 Now, if we go to the one that was passed by the Assembly that
17 ultimately, as I understand it, people voted on. This one says: "Are you
18 in favour of a sovereign and independent Bosnia-Herzegovina, a state of
19 equal citizens -- equal citizens and peoples Croats, Muslims, Serbs, and
20 other peoples who live in it?"
21 Now, if we just look at them side by side, we can see what exactly
22 the Croats in Livno are trying to inject into the question. Do you see
23 it, sir?
24 A. Of course. First of all, I have to tell you that everything that
25 was done in Livno was done belatedly and was no longer valid. It couldn't
1 be implemented. That's the first thing you should realise. Secondly, in
2 Livno, national cantons were called for, and at that time that was
3 contrary to the constitution, because there were no national cantons since
4 our Commission for Cantonisation never reached agreement.
5 Let me ask you, what are national cantons? So there weren't any.
6 Now, in the official version, there's a very important point which
7 relates to citizens and nations. So in Bosnia and Herzegovina, as opposed
8 to countries like your own, you didn't always have the sovereignty of
10 Q. All right.
11 A. You didn't always only have the sovereignty of citizens, because
12 it was contrary to our system, one vote, one citizen. There was the
13 protection of national interests which today in Bosnia-Herzegovina ended
14 with the Chamber of Nations or House of Nations.
15 Q. Okay. And that was -- but let me just back up a little bit. And
16 I just -- I just want to cover what's in the questions, okay? So if we
17 could go step-by-step.
18 It would appear that what is being proposed, whether it's belated
19 or not, that's a separate topic. We'll cover that, because as I
20 understand it, the Croats within the HDZ held you personally responsible
21 for not promoting this question and not getting it on the table and not
22 pushing it, and that was one of the reasons why they wanted you out of the
23 party as their president. But that's a separate issue. We can cover that
25 For today, the two minutes that we have left, it would appear that
1 the question that is being promoted at Livno has the word in it
2 "sovereignty" for a reason. It talks about a joint state of the
3 constitutive and sovereign Croatian, Muslim, and Serbian peoples.
4 Now, that was more or less guaranteed within the 1974
5 constitution, was it not? What they're asking, is it not --
6 A. You have to show me that. Show me our version. I can't see it
8 Q. Okay. It's up -- it's at the top of the page.
9 A. I still can't see it. All right. Fine.
10 Q. All right. "Are you in favour of a sovereign and independent
11 Bosnia-Herzegovina --" I think we all agree that everybody was -- all
12 right, "a joint state -- a joint state --" meaning a joint state of three
13 nations, three nations within the geographical region -- "of the
14 constitutive and sovereign Croatian, Muslim, and Serbian peoples in their
15 ethnic areas." What they're asking, sir, is it not what was guaranteed to
16 them in the 1974 constitution? They're just looking for a little
17 protection, recognising that they are a nation, one of three in this
18 geographical region of which they're going to have to share the space;
20 A. The Croatian nation was recognised by the constitution of 1974,
21 and previous ones as well, and it was impossible to make a state
22 community. You must know what a state community is. It's not a state.
23 It's not the same thing as a state.
24 Q. That's not -- that's not the essence of my question. It has
25 nothing to do with the state community. I'm asking you, because I have 10
1 seconds left, does this question not take into consideration what was
2 guaranteed in 19 -- in the 1974 constitution? What they're asking for is
3 a joint state, joint state - not separate; joint - of the constitutive and
4 sovereign Croatian, Muslim, and Serbian peoples, which were recognised by
5 the constitution of 1974. Isn't that what they're asking? It's a yes or
6 a no, because then we're going to have to break for the day.
7 A. Well, they can ask whatever they want but that has no foundation
8 in the constitution. There are no elements for a state community and
9 there are no elements for national cantons either. Now, the fact that
10 they're asking for this --
11 Q. Sir. Sir. You're an intelligent human being. You understand
12 English, and you certainly understand the wonderful translation that
13 you're getting. You know and I know that's not the form of my question.
14 Now, the form of my question is isn't what they're asking? I'm not
15 talking about the cantons that's in parentheses. What they're asking
16 here, are they not saying they want to be in a joint state of the
17 constitutive and sovereign Croatian, Muslim, and Serbian peoples? It's a
18 joint state, not a separate state. They're not asking for partition.
19 Isn't that the essence of this question? Yes or no.
20 A. Please, just a moment. Either the translation is not the right
21 one or you can't understand the nuances, the shades of meaning. The state
22 community is something that was Serbia and Montenegro until yesterday.
23 Now, to look for this -- look for a state community within
24 Bosnia-Herzegovina is to ask and look for the impossible.
25 Q. All right.
1 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honours, we're going to have to pick up on
2 this, and I don't believe I mentioned anything about a state community,
3 but just for the record, I've asked the question three times and this may
4 take a little bit longer to cross-examine the gentleman as a result of the
5 non-responsive answers that I'm getting.
6 Thank you very much, and I apologise for going over I believe two
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Thank you. We reconvene
9 tomorrow morning at 9.00. And as I said a moment ago, instead of
10 finishing at 5.15, we're going to go on working until 5.30. Thank you one
11 and all, and a very good evening to you.
12 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 5.01 p.m.,
13 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 28th day
14 of June, 2006, at 9.00 a.m.